This Winter Break, take a breather from the hectic pace of your studies and focus on career development. It’s the perfect time to expand your network!

Get on LinkedIn

Have a LinkedIn profile? Great! Don’t have one? Get one started as soon as you can!

LinkedIn is a great (and free!) opportunity to tell employers about your employment history, accomplishments and activities in school. And recruiters use LinkedIn to source top talent for open roles, so you may not even need to apply – if your profile matches what they’re looking for, you could be contacted directly about available opportunities.

It’s free and easy to create a LinkedIn account! Visit www.linkedin.com and sign up. Once you’ve built your profile to the best of your ability, come by the Business Career Hub and have one of our Career Consultants go over your profile with you and give you tips.

We’ve also got some exciting events planned for the New Year, including opportunities to get a professional headshot taken for your LinkedIn profile and a great workshop around optimizing your LinkedIn presence, which will start up again in the winter semester. Be sure to sign up when the dates become available.

Use Your Existing Network

You’ve probably heard it before: your network is your net worth. So start connecting to your existing network – family, friends, co-workers (past/present), professors, teaching assistants/facilitators, etc. Let them know you’re in a co-op program or looking for a job (if you haven’t already) and have some conversations about the types of opportunities you’re interested in.

It’s also a good idea to start connecting with industry professionals. There are lots of ways to do this and they don’t have to be time consuming. I’ve already written about having a professional Twitter account. Follow recruiters who work for companies you’re interested in connecting with, and once you’re feeling good about your LinkedIn profile, start connecting with your existing network on LinkedIn.

Also be sure to follow some of your favourite companies, as recruiters will often post job opportunities on their company profiles.

Schedule a Coffee Chat

Another fantastic networking resource is Ten Thousand Coffees, which connects people through the power of a coffee chat. You can search industry professionals you are interested in connecting with and send them an invite for coffee. There’s also Ted’s Café, a TRSM-exclusive community you can join for free! Our alumni have gone on to some amazing career paths and many of them want to give back to the current TRSM student body. Sign up for Ted’s Café today and start connecting with other members.

Need more help?

If you’re interested in reaching out to new contacts through LinkedIn, or would like to further discuss how to use Ted’s Café, Ten Thousand Coffees or Twitter, drop by the Business Career Hub and chat with our career consultants.

Posted by Laura Henshaw

Laura Henshaw is a Co-op Coordinator at the TRSM Business Career Hub. With a Bachelor of Arts from Brock University and two post-grad certificates from George Brown College and Ryerson’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Laura has been helping post-secondary students with their career journeys for over 8 years. Outside of work, she is an avid fan of Friends, the Blue Jays and live concerts. Follow Laura on Twitter: @HenshawLaura

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