This is most likely the single most important thing you can do as a person of business. You’ve more than likely heard the mantra, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This couldn’t be truer in the business world. Networking and keeping that network up to date can be incredible useful for finding a job, a mentor, or a business partner! Networking can open up doors in your career that you didn’t even know existed.
Keep your resume up to date
Your resume is the first thing that employers will see. They won’t see your face, they won’t experience your personality, they will see a one (or two) page paper summing up your professional experiences. Thus, it’s always important to keep an up to date resume, as you never know you may meet or interact with on any given day.
Have a mentor (or mentors)
Having a mentor can be incredibly helpful not only when you're young, but through the entirety of your professional career. Your mentor will be able to give you open, honest feedback and hopefully help you through some difficult situations and decisions that they may have more experience with
Have an online professional presence
More and more business is being done online, and not keeping up with this trend can be a fatal mistake for anyone in business. Make sure you have a LinkedIn to better connect with your network and if you do chose to have a Facebook or Twitter, make sure that information you put online is appropriate.
Following up is an under-utilized tactic among college students. Following up after an interview, a visit, or even a conversation will show the employer or business that you valued the time that you spent with them. -This can be especially valuable during career fairs, as the recruiters meet so many people in one day. Be sure to include something specific that you talked about to help the recruiter remember exactly who you are.
Not only ask questions, but ask good questions. Ask questions about things that you wouldn’t be able to figure out just by looking at the company’s website. This will show your interviewer that you’ve not only done your research, but that you are genuinely interested in learning more. Better yet, have the questions written down before you step into the interview.
Follow your passion
This is an unspecific tip, but still a very important one. Following and doing what you’re passionate about will help you to not only enjoy your career, but will help you to be better at it. If you dread waking up to go into work every morning, your performance and job satisfaction will most likely suffer as a result. However, if you can wake up every day excited about what you’re doing, it won’t feel like work.
You will probably hear this time and time again from older folks; warning and encouraging you to put some of that hard earned money away for retirement. At this point, it’s probably a buzzing in your ears, however this is absolutely something you should pay attention to. Starting to save for retirement now puts you at an incredible advantage as compared to people who wait 5, 10, even 15 years to start saving.
Learn a language (or two)
Learning a language can be an extremely valuable skill for business. It puts you at a clear advantage to other applicants that might be applying for the same position and it can come in handy down the road if you become involved in international business or business over seas. Consider taking a few Spanish or Chinese courses during your time here at Ohio University.
This is another under-utilized tool, however, the payoff for becoming skilled at this can be huge. Goal setting is important for keeping yourself, your team, and your company accountable. Goal setting will help you to stick to deadlines and, in the end, become more successful than competitors who don’t utilize this skill set.