How can networking in the UK help your employability?

Global media company Forbes cite that “networking is a critically important skill future leaders will need to master”. They explain that although one focus for networking is to obtain job leads, it’s also an effective learning tool. It provides a way to gather and share information, obtain advice and support and generate ideas. This type of connection is not only useful for creating a community in your chosen industry but to increase skills that will support you along your career. It may seem daunting to start with but we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started.

Go to networking events

Universities host excellent events which bring recruiters to campus and give you the opportunity to meet them. These may be careers events organised by your institutions careers team or industry specific events led by a department. There are several ways recruiters connect with students when looking for new talent such as:

  • Giving talks and attending careers fair at university campus’
  • Hosting events at their own company to promote new roles
  • Online webinars

Try to take any opportunity while studying to connect to employers as these meetings could put you in the position to find a graduate role. Share your details with them so they can add your email address to their talent pool so when they’re recruiting for internships or graduate roles you can be first in line.

Use social media to stay connected

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, this is your reminder to set one up. Starting a profile while you’re at university means you can start adding contacts you meet while studying and growing your network. This includes students on your course, lecturers and employers you are interested in. Your course mates may end up working at a company you’d like to know more about, your lecturers can endorse your skills on your LinkedIn profile and it’s a fantastic way to find out more about a company and have the opportunity to speak to their employees. LinkedIn is also a great way to seek out alumni from your institution who have already started working in your industry, try reaching out to them as there may be tips they have for their success.

 Be mindful about your other social media platforms as recruiters may look at your online footprint when offering a role. For personal accounts, consider setting the profile to private or keep in mind that these are open for anyone to look at.

Use every opportunity to make connections

Part of networking is thinking outside the box and realising that there are opportunities outside traditional events. Think about your interactions and how they might help you prepare for your graduate job. For example, your part-time work or volunteering role will also create connections for you and could potentially put you in touch with someone connected to your industry. Is there a university society or club you could join? Anywhere you can practice introducing yourself and building your confidence will also help you when you do attend careers events where you need to present yourself to employers. If you’re looking for a graduate role or specific advice to support international students seeking a career in the UK or globally, register today with GradLink where you will find our free jobs board, worldwide employers and industry specific advice.

By Jen Garmston Published: Mar 18,2024

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