There are significant benefits to having a recommendation on your job application. An established person vouching for you can make all the difference. Seriously, this can be what lies between you getting a callback, or getting your application overlooked. In that vein, here are some tips to make contacts at companies where you might want to work.
Use Alumni Connections
Departments at the University of Ghana have alumni databases. The alumni also have platforms on which they keep in touch. If there is a particular company that you are eyeing, go to the relevant department. You might find an alumni contact who works or has worked there. Reach out, lean on your shared alumni status and express your intentions. You have to be sincere. Also, try not to be too informal.
Actively Try To Expand Your Network
Explore the pre-existing connections in your life. Find the people who might have relationships with the company where you want to work. It can be uncomfortable reaching out in this way. However, it is also an effective way to make connections. Talk to people you know, get the contacts of people who might be able to help you get to the company that you want. If email is the way that you’re comfortable doing this, go for it. Ask your connections to refer you to their connections.
You can find connections at a company using LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to search by company. This search will show you the connections that you have at that company. That is, people that work there or people who have worked there in the past. LinkedIn categorizes your connections into first degree connections, second, third and so on. First-degree connections are those people who you are connected to who are/have been at the company. Second-degree connections are people who are connected to your first-degrees and so on. You should actively try to grow your LinkedIn profile. So, connect with people that you have worked with. Send requests to people that you would like to work with.
Knowing someone can be the difference between you getting a job, or not getting it. Your connections do matter. Grow them.