The month of October is already upon us! A time when students are on the hunt for internships or job opportunities, and employers are seeking out the cream of the crop. Let’s face it, we don’t want to adult yet, but every successful business aficionado knows that networking is a must.
So get your business cards, resumes, and elevator pitch ready for our annual
Meet the Firms Night!
Mark your calendars for our campus’ largest networking event, which will take place October 19th at 6:00 p.m.
Read below for some tips on simple things that may seem ridiculously easy, but many of you might forget. After all, the last thing you want to do is end up being another broke millennial because you weren’t prepared to network. May the odds be ever in your favor!
DO RESEARCH ON COMPANIES
Do not (I repeat do NOT) be that person who is not educated even the slightest bit about your potential workplace. Take the time to research one to two product launches, services, or articles that your company of interest was highlighted in. You want them to know that they are a top priority for you, so make sure you go above and beyond during this process. You’ll thank me later during your first interview! Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, this will help you appear confident while getting a sense of the company’s culture and strong suits. Always remember, the people on the other side of the table are trying to get the best deal for themselves, so you have to make sure that will be you. Also be sure to have personal anecdotes ready about your experiences, skills, and a time when you took charge in a previous position. If you start hearing the crickets in the background mid-conversation, I guarantee this will save you. (See example below of how to conduct research).
1) Find the name of the top executive for your field of interest (Are you marketing? CMO, Accounting or Finance? CFO, Management? CEO, etc.)
2) Cite any recent articles the top executive or company was highlighted in
3) Cite the most recent product or marketing campaigns and what your thoughts on them were.
4) Small company? Check their website and mention how you admire their company philosophies, recent projects, or company culture, etc.
5) Show your passion for the position, the company, the field, and/or real-world work experience (whatever it is that genuinely makes you passionate).
HAVE RESUMES & BUSINESS CARDS READY
According to the Washington Post more than 4 out of 5 of you will graduate without a job. Simply put, a college degree alone no longer cuts it anymore. It’s important that each of you understand that the entry-level job market has changed drastically. If you want to stand out, then your resume must reflect that, and after all, you aren’t just paying tuition each year, to do the bare minimum to reach graduation. Take advantage of the fact that you are at a private school with various resources to build your competitive edge, such as our career services center. Visit them to tailor your resume to showcase how you fit in with the company’s culture. It’s not only about advertising yourself, but also advertising that you are the perfect fit for a specific position! This may mean you need multiple versions of your resume tailored towards different careers or industries. Although it may take you extra time now, it could save you months of job searching later. Business cards will also set you apart from the “I’m a typical college student” group, and tell your future employers that you mean business.
On a tight budget? You can get a pack of 100 standard cards for about fifteen dollars with Vistaprint (see link attached below).
STAND OUT: BE YOURSELF & DRESS PROFESSIONALLY
Many of us can relate with the fact that in the midst of networking, we begin to lose our personal touch. Before you know it, employers begin to simply see a group of robots on our best behavior instead of eager, capable college students in front of them. NEWS FLASH, they’re human too! Whether you’re a jokester or braniac, it’s important that you allow them to get to know the real you. Crack a joke, show your knowledge, and just be you! Don’t simply tell them what you think they want to hear, your resume (if properly prepared) will reflect that! That one-on-one personal conversation will be the cherry on top, and serve as a determining factor for whether or not they view you, and remember you, as a prospective employee or intern. OH, and DRESS PROFESSIONALLY! That means ironed suits, choosing neutral colors, groomed hair, polished shoes, below knee length skirts or dresses, wearing heels that you can walk in, tops that aren’t revealing, and no jeans… need I say more? If you’re doubting your ability to know what professional attire is, I urge you to do your research.
If you did your job well during Meet the Firms Night, the representatives will be left with a small mental seed planted that you just might be a fit for their companies. But remember, they may meet around 200 students that night so their memory on you will fade quickly. How do you turn that seed into a job? Follow up and nurture the relationship! Let them know it was nice to meet them, reference a specific point you discussed (i.e. jog their memories), and inquire on the next steps of the application process! According to the author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach, a follow-up note should focus its attention on what the hiring manager is looking for. It’s essential to remind the interviewer of suggestions on how you can help the company grow based off of your experiences. Even if they don’t have a job or internship available now, following up on your relationship with them will give you an advantage the next time an opportunity arises.