Network your way to a job

Last changed: 28 April 2021

Use your contacts to increase your chances of getting your dream job. When you apply for jobs, be sure to include your extra-curricular experience in your CV. Here you can read more about what you can do to increase your chances of getting a job after graduation.

Create contacts and learn about the job market

Guest lectures, study visits, placements or degree project suggestions from external employers are just some ways that SLU’s courses and programmes can be linked to the labour market. See all activities as an opportunity to establish your network during your time at university. SLU arranges a number of meetings with employers, such as business events, alumni reunions and careers fairs.

By being active and asking questions, you can get an idea of the opportunities available to you and find out which skills and qualifications are necessary for the job you want. Links to the labour market outline the job opportunities associated with your courses and programmes. See these activities as a meaningful part of preparing yourself for your future career. They will give you the knowledge and contacts you can draw upon when the time comes for you to apply for jobs.

Join the SLU Alumni Network

By joining the SLU Alumni Network you can access information about what’s happening at SLU, receive invites to events, share your experiences, and develop your professional network.

Study one or two semesters abroad

As an SLU student, you have access to an array of study abroad opportunities. International experience is a great way to expand both your personal and professional horizons. As the global labour market continues to grow, there is a demand for both linguistic skills and intercultural competence. Time spent studying abroad can also open new doors in the form of job opportunities and international contacts.

Gain work experience

Getting a summer job or working part time alongside your studies can provide you with valuable skills – especially if you don’t have much work experience.  Even if you don’t manage to find a job relevant to your studies, these merits are important. A job always creates learning opportunities, helps you practise your skills and gives you room to develop as a person. Additionally, you’ll make new connections and meet people who can provide references for you later on.

Get involved in associations and organisations

By getting involved in student associations or student union work, you will have the opportunity to work with both communications and organisational issues. This will give you a lot of practical experience as you will be part of organising events such as careers fairs, work with projects and other activities, and campaigning on student issues. Demonstrating commitment to your subject is also a good way to establish a network.

Collaborate on academic papers and degree projects with employers

During your studies, you can find your niche by taking specialisation courses, going on placements or collaborating with companies, organisations and public authorities for your degree project.  Not only will this help you obtain the relevant professional knowledge, it will also give you a chance to show people who you are and what you know. Many students who write their degree projects during their time with a company end up receiving job offers.

The SLU Career Portal posts information about degree project opportunities at SLU departments and research environments, as well as with external employers. If you can’t find anything from your dream company, don’t be afraid of reaching out to them. This shows you’re motivated.

Thesis Day

When the time comes for you to write your bachelor’s or master’s thesis, you will be invited to participate in the online Thesis Day. Participation in Thesis Day involves creating a scientific poster for your project, and you can invite your friends and family along to learn about your work. You can also try out for one or more of the Thesis Day awards or the Global Sustainability Award. Alumni and representatives from trade and industry are also invited to participate in Thesis Day, giving you the opportunity to network with your future colleagues.

Careers fairs

SLU Career usually has a stand at careers fairs and offers a live CV revision service. Be sure to drop by!

Make the most of the day. Here’s what you can do before, during and after careers fairs.

Before

Who will be there? Read up on employers and how they link to your education and interests. Focus on the employers that appeal to you the most.

Update your CV. Match it with the employers you are interested in. Prepare a short introduction about yourself, and any questions you would like to ask or things you want to say to the employer.

During

Engage with the representatives on site. Don’t be afraid to go up to them on your own and establish contact. Ask the questions you have prepared.

Ask for the contact details for the right people to send your CV and application letter to.

After

Reflect on the fair. Which companies seemed the most interesting and relevant to you, your interests and your background? “Follow” these companies over time. Perhaps they’ll run other types of event?

Stay in touch with the contacts you make. Perhaps you can go on a study visit or attend an information interview? If you would like to connect with the person on LinkedIn, always send a personal message with your contact request.

When you contact the company, be clear when you introduce yourself and refer back to something you talked about during the careers fair, so the person remembers who you are.

Page editor: utb-webb@slu.se