A professional network is important to have better chances on the job market. Here we would like to provide you with tips and advice to help you build a professional network while you are still studying.

Building a professional network

Building a professional network is not difficult, but it requires commitment. We all have basic networks and personal relationships: Contacts who belong to your network are, for example, your friends and fellow students. Your network also includes colleagues from part-time jobs or internships and people you have met through volunteer work, for example. All of these people can help you in different ways with your professional orientation during your studies and your career entry after graduation. In addition, however, you should also proactively form new contacts in order to expand your network.

What are the advantages of a professional network?

A professional network can be helpful in several ways. It serves to share knowledge and thrives on mutual help. This means that you can obtain helpful information from the people in your network and pass it on. For example, when it comes to jobs: Is there a position posted somewhere right now that is interesting? Is there a position that needs to be filled but is not officially advertised? Does someone know a person who works in a similar field in which you would like to work?

The people in your network can advise you or give you feedback. How did they get a job in their favored career field? What do you need to consider when applying? What is the daily work routine like? In the same way, you can and should share your own knowledge and experience and be useful to your contacts.

This will create professional advantages for you: Networks expand your knowledge and give you a better starting position for your job search through the support of your contacts.

Tip – Online Lecture „Relationing“:

Goethe University alumnus Dr. Stefan Söhngen describes such contact networks with the term "Relationing" - the establishment, maintenance and use of a stable network of relationships. This is interdisciplinary and based on trust, values and sustainability.

You can learn more about "Relationing" in his presentation for the Career Service of Goethe University (in German): 

If you want to strategically build or expand your professional network, you should think about two guiding questions in advance:

I. Which occupational fields, industries and activities are you interested in?

This consideration will help you build networks in a targeted manner and find the right contacts for you, rather than simply collecting as many contacts as possible. If you do not yet have a specific career field in mind, it is also possible to network with regard to specific subject areas that are of particular interest to you.

Practical tips for occuoational fields

  • On the page „Was werden?“ by the Career Service, you can discover industries, occupational fields and employers suitable for your subject (in German).
  • Take advantage of the career coaching offered by the Career Service to become aware of your competencies and goals.
  • Some departments offer information about possible occupational fields after graduation on their homepage or through lectures.

II. What professional, social competencies and potentials - skills, abilities, strengths, knowledge - do you possess, that you can use for your network?

A network thrives on mutual help, give and take. If you know your personal strengths and competencies, you can use them confidently in your network and when making new contacts.

Networking opportunities

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