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Build Your Professional Network While At Uni and You Will Increase Your Chances Of Securing Your First Job

If I could give one piece of advice to 2nd  and 3rd year university students, it would be this: if you know your chosen area, take advantage that you are a student and start building your professional network. 

Join the professional association related to your chosen area as a student and start attending events and workshops that interest you. 
You usually will be able to attend free of charge or at a discounted rate.
Taking the time to join these associations will give you greater insight into the industry and the opportunity to start building your contacts. 

You will become more aware of industry trends and issues, key organisations and the individuals who are leading the change in your sector.  Reach out to some of these key people face-to-face, or via LinkedIn. You will be able to include this membership and your participation on your CV. 

This tells an employer that you have invested your own time into understanding the industry better and are committed to the area.  In addition, you will start building your professional network at the same time.

Never underestimate the power of enthusiasm and passion as a student and your ability to ask people about their careers and how they started. Enthusiasm is contagious and most people understand what it is like when you are just starting out. Your professional network is part of how you build your personal brand to make you stand out to future employers. 

You never know, these very contacts may assist you with your job search or could end up being your employer!

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