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Weak Ties in the Undergraduate Job Search


One of the most difficult challenges for an undergraduate student is finding their first job, internship, or other real world experience. Employers all seem to want to hire students with previous experience, which makes it much more difficult for those with little to no experience other than what they’ve learned in class to find their first job. Luckily, Marc Miller, a contributor for the journalism service Next Avenue, has some advice for those seeking their first experiences regarding weak ties in the professional world.


In his article titled “To Get a Job, Use Your Weak Ties”, published on Forbes’ website, Marc Miller discusses how weak ties are more likely to land you a job than strong ties. This relates to the discussion of weak ties in class regarding how they can convey more new information than strong ties. Marc Miller brings up a similar point in his article when he writes, “you’re more likely to articulate what you need to a weak tie”. This is likely because strong ties probably already know your background, which may bias their suggestions in one way or another, whereas with weak ties, “[people] are forced to state exactly what [they] want and why”. Additionally, Miller states that “weak ties can also exponentially expand your network”. Citing a book titled “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success”, by Adam Grant, Miller discusses how leveraging weak ties greatly increases the number of potential connections someone can make.


I can also personally attest to the strength of weak ties, for I myself landed my internship over this previous summer through a weak tie. That being said, don’t trust only me, trust Marc Miller, and Adam Grant. Your weak connections are much more likely to land you a job than your strong connections. While this statement can certainly be argued, pursuing your weak connections certainly can’t hurt your chances at landing your first job. Therefore, it is definitely worth using weak connections in the job search, especially for those with little to no prior experience.


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