According to ABC News 80% of jobs are landed through networking, so stop spending so much time applying and get working on networking.
Does everyone in your network know you are looking for the next step in your career? If no, let them all know, keep them updated on your opportunities, interviews, and offers. This is not only great marketing of yourself but also helps trigger peoples minds the next time they hear of a job opening.
Why LINKEDIN? – It is in all caps for a reason. It is an unlimited resource for staying connected to your professional network but also helps you connect to people who you may want to work with. I landed a job interview with a company I really wanted to work for just by asking the CEO on Linkedin. So take some time connect with everyone you know and post about topics in your industry to the newsfeed. This shows you are educated of what is happening in your field but also helps people remember you for what you are great at.
Relationships are like pulses. You need to pump in order to keep them alive. Start going to coffee, lunch, or dinner with people that might be able to help you or keep you informed on another career opportunity. This takes a lot of work. It may seem weird to contact someone who you haven’t talked to for a year but just do it! Most people respond well.
Once you have some momentum in your career, start helping others and pay it forward. It seems simple but most people get into their offices, sit at their comfy desk, and never think to maintain relationships outside their inner circle. So pump the relationship and be there for people when they are exploring their own careers.
Send Thank yous! Why is it so hard? Oh wait, it isn’t. This creates a great image for yourself when you show gratitude and also makes you happier.
Being happy, staying focused, and pursuing your passion should make you excited in the morning when networking. If not, maybe it is time change it up and find a new career you want.
Congratulations! You have your resume in order, and the Career Fair is around the corner, you’re practically home free. But there is one more hurdle to overcome before you can land that killer internship or career that you are there to snag! You have to actually talk to the recruiter! Many students have some sort of stigma about approaching a recruiter— they are like a god, wielding the power over your future with a heavy hand based on first impressions and snap judgments. Is there a way to guarantee they will like you? No. But you can give yourself the best chance of impressing them possible.
Let’s divide this endeavor into two main categories: preparation and execution.
Part I— Preparation:
How do you prepare for talking to a recruiter at a career fair? Well the first step is going to be having all of your materials in order. Resume printed out, edited, crafted to fit their company as best as it can. Of course you already got help with this at career services, so you have that point crossed off your list. Next, you need to work on your presentation— if you show up in a sweatshirt and your favorite pair of worn jeans then nobody will take you seriously. Wear a shirt and tie or nice skirt/pants and jacket, which are reliable business casual outfits. If you want more information on what might be acceptable professional dress, there are plenty of blog posts on that if you need to read more. Or if you want to know what not to wear.
You need something to carry your papers in! Don’t use a backpack, use a portfolio: a nice notebook that you can neatly tuck your resume into, along with any papers the recruiter hands you. Finally, if your resume is on two pages, or if you are coming in with a cover letter too: don’t staple them together, instead use a paper clip.
The other part of preparation isn’t based on appearances, it’s what you have to know before you can go in, so go find out which companies are sending recruiters to OSU, go to their websites, and do some research on them. You should be able to talk with a recruiter about the company— about their goals, their projects, and their values. This is how you’re going to really impress them, because even if you’re wrapped up nicely, they won’t like somebody who can’t put in the work.
Part 2— Execution:
Now it is officially time to go to the Career Fair and get your name out there. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from students about how it is best to approach a recruiter. They feel awkward walking up and just asking about jobs and recruiting; it’s time for your research to come into play. One approach is to open up with a question or comment about a recent project their company has gone into:
“Hello, my name is Richard; I was really excited to see NVIDIA’s recent expansion into grid GPU for manufacturing and construction corporations.”
Another is to ask them about what their job is at the company, and how that job function might interact with the job you are looking to fill for them. Regardless of which approach you take, there is one key part to remember: recruiters and representatives are not some alien species that we need to observe from afar. Go up to them and express just as much interest in them as you hope they will express in you, and you will leave a good impression.
It’s easier than you think. And you can do all of these in the first two weeks of the term.
1. Show up to all your classes. On time.
Showing up is the first step to success. It sounds simple, but sometimes getting past all of the basics of negotiating life every day can make it tricky to fully “show up”, and especially to be there on time and prepared. Showing up on time and fully engaging in the activity in front of you speaks volumes about your ability to manage a schedule, assess other people’s expectations and contribute meaningfully to growth and learning. All of those things are essential to growing successfully in your own career!
2. Talk to a professor.
Epic career development, like the epic responsibility of becoming a successful human, is not a project meant to be done in isolation. Translation: make friends and connect now. Professors are typically more experienced versions of people, who have not only had to build their own careers, but have also been instrumental in providing guidance and learning for countless others’ careers. Most hold office hours and are available for networking and learning from NOW, not just during the term before you graduate.
3. Check out clubs and activities on campus.
How will you know where you’re going unless you know where you’re coming from? Getting to know yourself is an unending process and is supported by getting involved and learning more about how you operate in different environments. And there are SO MANY options. Did you know that there is a club for people who like water? And one for zombie apocalypse survivalists? And a place that provides access to a TON of opportunities to volunteer?
Now is a fantastic time to put your professional YOU down on paper. Why? Because it’s waaaaaaay easier to stay updated in real time, rather than try to catch up after the fact. Do an awesome project in class? Write it down! Finish up that summer job? Write it down! Learn the basics of a new computer program? Write it down! If you want some help or advice on how to put a resume together, check in with our fantastic Career Assistants during drop-in resume/cover letter hours, which are Monday through Thursday, 1-4pm!
5. Schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant.
Planning a career can be overwhelming and confusing. Just choosing how to start is sometimes difficult! The good news is, you’ve already started. The better new is, you don’t have to do all of this alone! You have friends, family, classmates, professors, advisors, coaches and more who are available to help. If you’d like to talk to someone who isn’t in one of those categories, schedule an appointment with one of our Career Consultants, through your Beaver Careers account. They are friendly and knowledgeable coaches and counselors who can help you sort through all sorts of questions: What major do I want? How do I find a summer job? How do I work on my grades? Where can I get involved? What is the difference between a resume and CV? Who am I, anyway?? And more!
6. Build a LinkedIn account! And then clean up your Facebook account. And Twitter. And Instagram. And blog. And Vine. And . . .
This is, like all the other steps, an ongoing process. Social media, in some form, is here to stay. And there are more options for engagement every day! If you want to use social media for professional purposes, creating a LinkedIn account is a great way to start now. It’s free and easy to use, and provides a lot of help and information for getting started and building your profile. Once you’re on, you can connect with other professionals, search jobs and companies, participate in discussions, join groups and write and receive recommendations from others.
With other social media, just make sure you clean it up. Over half of hiring managers and employers out there are using social media searches as “informal background checks”. Be sure that what you put out there is what you want your future boss to see!
What else do you do to keep moving towards an epic career? Tips? Questions? Let us know!