Teyonna Ridgeway is a senior at Howard University in Washington, DC

Teyonna Ridgeway is a senior at Howard University in Washington, DC

By Teyonna Ridgeway

A Howard alum recently spoke to my class about life after college and her statement spoke to me. She said, “No one gets jobs by sending in resumes.”

It’s scary to think that despite spending hours revamping your resume to perfection, that alone will not help you snag a job after college. But it’s true. Like many other college seniors, my friends and I didn’t initially want to talk about our post-graduation plans even though it was a conversation worth having. I hated to be the elephant in the room, but someone had to initiate a dialogue so we could all face the fact that there is A LOT of planning that we have to do before May 2014… And, #NETWORKINGNOVEMBER was born.

#NETWORKINGNOVEMBER is a movement to get college seniors in the mindset of life after college. Throughout the month of November we will network, research, write, visualize and do everything in our power to align ourselves in a position where employers will want to hire us. This is an opportunity to prepare for our future and encourage each other to stick to our goals.

#NETWORKINGNOVEMBER was started by a group of communications students and many of the suggestions are for people in that industry but every college senior can start thinking about post-graduation plans!

Here are some ideas of things that you can do throughout #NETWORKINGNOVEMBER:

1. Informational Interviews

  • Reach out to people on LinkedIn
  • Speak to your current and former professors, and other professors in your school, about career opportunities and their outlook on the industry

2. Reconnect with your existing network

  • Old supervisors, professors and people that you met at conferences can all be valuable resources for you during your job search. Drop them a note this month just to let them know how you’re doing and see what’s going on in their world.

3. Improve your online presence

  • Enhance your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one already, put this at the top of your #NETWORKINGNOVEMBER to do list!
  • Clean up your Facebook and Twitter account
  • Start or revamp your online portfolio
  • Start a blog or be a guest writer on someone else’s blog

4. Become an expert in your industry

  • Read an article once a week about a trend or recent news in your industry
  • Study your industry’s jargon
  • Research everything you can about your industry

5. Post- grad planning

  • Make a list of the top 10 companies / agencies that you would want to work for
  • Research housing options in the top three cities that you want to live in

6. Volunteer

  • If you need writing samples or relevant work experience without committing to an internship, ask to volunteer at a small company or a non-profit organization

7. Visualize it!

  • Create a vision board of your goals for the rest of the school year
  • Post your goals near your desk to remind yourself what you want to accomplish

8. Inspire each other!

  • Encourage your friends to participate in #NETWORKINGNOVEMBER and hold each other accountable. Check in during the middle of the month and at the end of the month to see what you all accomplished.

What are some other things that you plan to do during #NETWORKINGNOVEMBER? Share in the comments below!

Happy networking ladies!


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