10 Steps to CTE Student Networking Success

Employing a social media curriculum in schools provides today’s CTE students with a professional differentiator. By learning social media communication best practices and digital citizenship norms now, students will be able to set themselves apart from their competition later, whether they are career or college bound.

Below are 10 steps to networking success for CTE students:

  1. Activate and optimize your professional digital identity on LinkedIn.

  2. Grow and deepen your network across personal, academic and professional relationships to develop a relevant audience.

  3. Become an original content creator (blogs and/or videos) to be viewed as a thought leader within your discipline/prospective industry.

  4. Follow companies which may be able to provide a summer internship or future employment, and connect to their leadership and management teams.

  5. Like and share the content of your network connections and companies which you follow to develop a reputation as someone that adds value to others.

  6. Join groups which are relevant to your CTE discipline. Engage with posts by making thoughtful comments and asking questions that inspires conversation. Connect with the authors of posts you find valuable and other members of the group.

  7. Curate your network by doing due diligence on connections before accepting requests. Always ask yourself if the relationship between you and your potential new connection will be mutually beneficial.

  8. Convert interactions to other communication channels (email, phone, in person meetings, coffee) to bridge from online to offline behaviors and deepen the relationship.

  9. Update the "Career interests" section of the Dashboard in your profile to reflect your career ambitions. This will give you insights into your future job market.

  10. Make social part of the way you communicate with people as part of practice; undertake the personal process re-engineering just like you did with in-person, phone, email, text and non-verbal/body language interactions.

Key Take Away

Social media education in CTE programs achieves three core outcomes, namely:

  1. Improved student college and career readiness,

  2. Enhanced student soft skills and employability, and

  3. Professional development for teachers, staff and administrators.