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Networking Checklist

Know yourself

  • Write down your career goal/s or your career interests.
  • Research and list the Industries, Companies or Employers you wish to work with.
  • Make an informal list of your skills, experiences (paid and unpaid), volunteer work, education, certifications, awards, and accomplishments.
  • Circle the best or most favorable items from your list. The circled items you may wish to include in your 60 Second commercial.
  • Know your personal values. Know what you value in yourself, in others, in a company and in a job.
  • Know your return on investment. Be able to articulate what you can do for a company or organization. Know how you can support/build/grow/help a company. List those specifics. You may wish to include these in your 60 Second Commercial.

Professionalism

  • Conduct yourself as the professional YOU want to work with.
  • Speak clearly, confidently and smile.
  • Dress business professional or as the occasion suggests (Remember you can always dress down, but you can never dress up at the time of an interaction).
  • Hygiene is important, first impressions matter, so make sure the basics are covered; teeth brushed, hair combed, nails cut, skip the perfume/cologne/smoking or other scents.
  • Use appropriate language, remember titles, and avoid unprofessional language/offensive terms.
  • Practice being professional by meeting with a Career Counselor or engaging in professional workshops or events.
  • Find a role model that you admire. Model yourself after this person. Study their style, approach, non-verbal behavior, etiquette, small talk and attire. Be your own authentic self, and use your role model as a general guide.

60 Second Commercial

  • Know what you plan to say about yourself in advance of your introduction.
  • Do not overthink your introduction, be your professional authentic self.
  • Smile.
  • Pro tip: Hold a worry stone/foam squeeze in your hand/pocket (something small and discrete, out of plain sight, this can ease nerves).
  • What to say: State your name and university, your academic level (sophomore) and your major. Talk about what you enjoy about your major and where you wish to work or what you want to do with your future career. How you want to give back to a company, a population or what you excel in as it relates to an industry or field. Discuss what interests you and why you gravitate toward a specific field/company/job. You can also discuss the accomplishments you have participated in to become career ready. “This is why I am looking for my first job/internship/entry level work etc.
  • Pro tip: Give business cards, they are a polished way to provide your contact information, demonstrate professionalism and leave a lasting positive impression.
  • Firm Handshake (be careful not to squeeze too hard) and a thank you, nice to meet you!

Hidden job network

  • Speak to the people you know: friends, relatives, parents, friends of your parent’s, your friend’s parents and share that you are looking for a job/internship/entry-level job. Use your natural connections to seek out potential opportunities.
  • Being a “known entity” can work in your favor. Do not be shy, proactively share that you are looking for employment.

Open job network

Use your social media to establish connections, follow employers and friend professional peers. LinkedIn and other online social media can help foster relationships and grow your network.

  • Create a professional presence on all social media platforms; seek LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements from qualified sources. Ensure that your profile and account does not contain content that could be offensive/unprofessional (protect your  professional brand).
  • Strategically establish new contacts and connect with colleagues with similar professional interests/backgrounds.
  • Join or participate in Professional Organizations, ask your professors or career counselor to help you locate appropriate professional organizations that you may participate in locally, regionally or nationally.
  • Travel to national or regional conferences to engage in professional development and networking events.
  • Get active in your on-campus clubs and organizations. The peers and staff members you are involved with in your organization naturally become part of your network. Use this opportunity to grow skills, learn and effortlessly build your professional network.
  • Get involved in your town or local community. Participate in organizations that have community events, fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. This will help you connect to people around you.

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