As a recently graduated college graduate I am now at that stage where I should be employed or looking for employment. Given our current economic situation...I am...*ahem* still in the latter part of that last sentence. So I've been becoming biffles with Monster, CareerBuilders, and the like and doing some networking. I know of the awesome powers of networking...in fact, I made a small shrine to it and pay it homage daily. However, I had never experienced it as much as I have recently.
I went to Palm Beach County's tweetup a couple of weeks ago and was introduced to a variety of pretty sweet people, from there I was invited to SFIMA (South Florida Interactive Marketing Association) which from there put me in touch with people that could potentially direct me to the right people from which I could *cross fingers* gain employment.
All this happened in the span of about 2 weeks.
Now professors never tell you what to expect or prep for when you graduate and start the job hunt....actually there is alot they don't tell you. I'm realizing this more and more as I get further into my alumni status. Regardless, just because you don't know everything there is to know about life after graduation, doesn't mean you don't do anything....you keep going and learn as you go....often times at great personal or financial expense.
So yes graduates, expect to mess up. But more importantly, remember to take a minute to concretely learn something from it, because that is priceless knowledge that can't be gained in an hour-long lecture. I can name over a dozen things I've messed up on...from resumes to smack-my-forehead why did I say that to that person...and that's just job hunting. That doesn't even cover actually doing a job or working on a project.
However, just cause I know I'm going to make mistakes doesn't mean I can just sit down and do nothing. I have a quest: a job.
Because of this quest it had made me measure the most effective ways to ending my quest (quest is a fun word to say aloud).
You can send your polished resume and cover letter to some ambiguous person you have never met before and who hasn't met you, but it will never have as much of an impact as if they had/have a chance to meet you in person and you them. They say first impressions are often the most reliable account of a person. British writer William Hazlitt said "a man's look is the work of years; it is stamped on his countenance by the events of his whole life, nay, more, by the hand of nature, and it is not to be got rid of easily.” I agree; hence the power in networking in person.
So I've taken some time in my job hunt to look up conferences and seminars that I can attend to meet people face-to-face. Fortunately for me, this seems to be the month for conferences, clubs, and seminars. So far, it's paid off. I am dying to tell you what's happened because of it, however I am deathly afraid to do so, in the event I tell you and it doesn't come through. So for now, you'll have to take my word and personal experience for it: networking pays off.