If you're meeting in person, present yourself professionally — after all, you're asking for help and possibly a personal referral. Arrive prepared with examples of how you’ve successfully used your skills in the past, whether it was for a school project or an internship. Your aim is to impress. Before you leave, ask the person if there is anyone to whom they might be able introduce you. Follow the same process with those people.
“It's an exponential effect,” said Porter. “You could potentially talk to 100 people this way, and I guarantee that out of that group of people, someone has the perfect job that fits your skills.”
Outside your comfort zone
If you are getting interviews but they are outside the field you studied and not really of any interest to you, take time to gain more work experience in your field, according to Prague-based Oliver Donoghue, managing director of the Nonstop Recruitment Schweiz AG talent agency. And that may mean taking a position slightly different than you hoped for.
“It doesn’t have to be anything game-changing. Even a brief stint at a relevant organisation will be enough to show employers that you’re serious about your career and want to gain some professional experience,” he said.
Presenting yourself on paper
If you did any internships while in school that were related to your field of interest, don’t just list them. Instead, showcase them through a portfolio of the work you did while at the job, suggested Payal Vasudeva, a managing director in Accenture’s Strategy division in the London office.
“Being able to demonstrate specific job skills, whether through an internship, volunteer work or extracurricular activities, increases your chances of landing that job,” she said in an email.