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How to Expand Your Network As A Fresh Graduate

Lyle Justin Egay

Team Prosple
So you just graduated, congrats! It’s officially time to venture out into the real world. Years of exams and requirements have led up to this point, and now it’s time to put out job applications and start your career!

All your life, you’ve been taught that the world is for you to seize and explore after college. One thing school never tells us, though, is how awkward that period right after graduation can be—the transition from a student to an adult with a job.

You might be thinking of how to go about job applications now. It can be a daunting task to find a job as someone with absolutely no working experience.

Here’s the good news, though: you don’t have to do all this alone! As a fresh grad, your network will help you kickstart your journey on your way to your first job.

Let’s talk about networking for fresh graduates.

Why network?

Who you know matters.

A good fresh graduate network will make the job hunting process much easier on your end. By surrounding yourself with connections, not only will you enjoy a support system, but they can even help link you up with opportunities that may not present themselves via usual means.

Of course, you can find a job by yourself—many people have succeeded this way—but a solid network will expand your horizons. They may have heard of job listings that aren’t publicly announced, or just aren’t available to you.

Here’s an example: to most fresh graduates, the best source of information regarding available jobs would be job fairs, social media, and other public venues. However, only a few companies make use of job fairs for recruitment, though you might have more luck seeking opportunities on social media.

A referral from someone you know can go a long way, though. This is very useful especially for those who want to build their careers in fields that do not usually recruit new hires openly.

Building a network sounds like a tough ask, but you’ve been doing this all your life.

It’s not like you have to start from scratch. Chances are that you’ve already built a sizable network of friends, family, and colleagues at this point.

From the moment you stepped foot in a classroom, you’ve been cultivating friendships with other people. As long as you have friends, you have a network. And this network will go a long way in helping you land your first job.

Now it’s time for you to expand your base of connections and make the most out of your opportunities.

Connect purposefully.

By seeking out opportunities to meet the right people, you can build a network that will help not only while you're looking for a job, but even as you're working.

It pays to know people who are in your chosen field. For instance, if you would like to find a job in the community development sector, it may help to be friends with community organizers and field staff, whereas in the academe, teachers and administrative staff can help you.

There are many ways to build linkages with such people. Conventions, job fairs, or even social gatherings such as parties will allow you to meet such people.

Turn to your mentors.

Just because you already graduated doesn't mean you can't turn to your mentors in school anymore. Your favorite professor (even the dragon types, mind you!), thesis mentor, or even OJT adviser can help nudge you in the right direction--if not, they can provide you with perspective few others can! Who knows, they might even slip you a referral that can land you your first job.

You might also want to connect with upperclassmen, especially those who are working in your desired field. They can give you a heads up on who's hiring, what they're looking for, or even how to get the kiliti of potential interviewers.

Use social media to your advantage.

With social media being a necessity these days, you can take advantage of this by building your brand online, attracting more opportunities as you apply for jobs.

Some employers will ask you to disclose your social media accounts, so it might be a good idea to make sure you present yourself well. When you're taking a break from your online bardagulan session, make sure to spend time on optimizing your online persona.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with employers and fellow professionals. Here, you can put out your profile, including your skills and interests, and make it easier for companies to notice you.

As you look for jobs, treat LinkedIn as your best friend. Here you will find a treasure trove of networking opportunities, whether it's a friend working in a company you've been aiming for, or recruiters looking for fresh talent coming out of school.

It's not just LinkedIn. Facebook/Meta is also being used by recruiters and employees alike. Everyone from BPO, food chains, government agencies, and other companies publish notices of hiring. Keep an eye out!

Maintain your relationships.

Believe it or not, the connections you've built over the years can be a great help as you search for jobs. After all, they're the ones you can turn to when you need help most.

Your family will have a wealth of insight to offer. In some cases, they might even get you your first job. If you prefer to go independently, try to take in their advice.

In your barkada, some may land their first job quicker than others. You can learn how they managed to do so, and apply these lessons to your journey. Of course, if you happen to be the one who made it quicker, make sure to put out a helping hand.

It's always a good idea to nurture and maintain these relationships as you move forward in life. After all, a lot may happen to you, but some things never change--one of them being that you can always rely on your loved ones.


Are you ready to find your first job? We help students and fresh grads find the best internships and fresh graduate jobs to get you started with your career. Sign up for free at ph.prosple.com!