The process of getting a career job can be intimidating. This blog post was created to help you through this process by giving you some tips and tricks to make yourself stand out and make it easier for you to land the internship or job of your dreams.
Networking can happen in an elevator, at a coffee shop, or a career fair. You can meet business professionals that you want to keep in touch with anywhere anytime so it’s best to be prepared. The goal of networking is to make connections with professionals in the career field you want to end up in. Getting to know professionals can help you get jobs by getting your name known to the professional community. Networking is also about learning from people who are in a position that you want to be in, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
Things to remember when networking with professionals:
- Have a good handshake and make good eye contact
- Give your elevator speech
- Ask questions about their career/company or the industry in general
- Ask for their contact information or give them yours
- Afterward, connect with them on LinkedIn
Why should a student have LinkedIn? A LinkedIn profile is like a professional Facebook account. LinkedIn is one of the best and easiest ways to make connections and maintain professional relationships with industry professionals. Having a presence on LinkedIn makes you more visible to employers and gives you an easy way to keep up with industry news. It is also a great resource to look for internships and job openings.
Best Practices for LinkedIn
- Use a professional picture
- Fully fill out your information
- Have a digital copy of your resume and/or portfolio on your profile
- List your past experience as well as any current positions you have
- Proofread! Your LinkedIn profile should be a lot like your resume, look out for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Once you’ve made connections and applied for jobs the interviews will come sooner than you know it, so it’s best to be prepared. You can stay prepared by keeping your resume and LinkedIn profile up-to-date and learning about career positions in your field. When you get that first call requesting an interview it can be kind of nerve-wracking. Preparing for the interview can help calm those nerves, so here are some tips to help you prepare.
Before the interview:
- Send a copy of your resume to them in advance (if they don’t already have it)
- Research the company and their mission statement
- Prepare and practice answers to common interview questions
- Re-read the job description to see what skills of your will be relevant to the job
- Prepare questions of your own (never ask about salary during the first interview unless the interviewer asks you, negotiating comes once they offer you a position)
During the interview:
- Arrive 15 minutes early (if you’re not early, you’re late)
- Greet them with a firm handshake and make eye contact during the interview
- Pay attention to your body language (sit up straight, don’t cross your arms)
- Do not speak poorly about your past employers or coworkers, even if they were awful you must show the interviewer that you are respectful
Common interview questions:
- Why do you want to work here? -this is where knowing the mission statement comes in handy
- Tell me about yourself?
- What are your biggest strengths/weaknesses?
- Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is one example of a time you exercised leadership?
- How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
For tips on how to answer these questions and others, go to:
Thank you notes/ follow up email
After an interview or lengthy conversation, a thank you note to that business professional can mean a lot. Sometimes, it can even increase your chances of getting a job.
The thank you doesn’t have to be lengthy and complicated, a simple email or thank you card will do. Sending a physical thank you note is more of a formal response, but if you don’t have the direct business address or want to get in touch with them right away a nice email will do as well. It is important to show the interviewer that your conversation meant more to you than just getting a job. The thank you will also keep you fresh in their mind and make them more likely to remember you when considering people for the position.
Here is an example of what a good thank you note might look like. Remember to be specific and sincere.
“ I wanted to take a second to thank you for your time yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about <specific topic you covered> and enjoyed learning about <job title> position overall.
It sounds like an exciting opportunity, and an opportunity I could succeed and excel in. I’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime.
Thanks again for the great conversation yesterday.
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