On Sept. 15, the Career Center at the University of Connecticut posted a pre-recorded presentation called ‘Husky to Hire’ to discuss networking, career goal-setting and most importantly, how to stand out from the rest of the pack.
For most college students, networking is overwhelming and often difficult to navigate. The Career Center reminded students that networking does not have to be as daunting as it may seem. They suggested their resources to help with the networking process, which included mock interviews, resume critiquing and job fairs.
If in your head, networking means printing out a bunch of business cards and buying a fancy suitcase, stop right there. Although those things may be important down the road, there are simpler steps to ease your way into the process, using four tips that the Career Center suggests:
Reach out to friends and classmates
Networking can be done in both formal and informal settings. Reach out to friends and classmates of the same major both inside and outside of the classroom. These interactions can be a productive way to talk about shared experiences. The presentation recommended maintaining these connections by exchanging contact information or connecting on LinkedIn.
Know the different networking types
The presentation said there were three kinds of networking types. Networking on a daily basis can be interactions with classmates or talking with a professor during office hours. Networking at events such as job fairs and information sessions helps with getting in contact with employers. Lastly, online networking consists of getting familiarized with websites such as LinkedIn and Handshake or looking out for emails within your major’s department.
Additionally, the Career Center says it is important to know your own personality type and how it can best impact your networking experience. For more introverted students, they recommend updating your online professional presence and adding connections on LinkedIn.
For extroverted students, attend job fairs and information sessions to meet employers in person. Both skills are important to have, but make sure to focus on techniques that work well with your own personality.
Connect with UConn alumni
There were two ways the presentation suggested how to connect with UConn alumni. On LinkedIn, students can search for ‘University of Connecticut,’ and scroll through the individuals listed. There are several settings to narrow the search including filters like “location” and “field of work or study.”
The other option is through the center’s Husky Mentor Network. The mentorship program allows current students to have one-on-one conversations with alumni about job searching, interviewing and resume tips.
Be prepared with an elevator pitch
In the competitive job market, employers are looking for ‘stand-outs’ in their stack of applications. The presentation recommends making yourself known to employers prior to applying by being prepared with questions about the company, exchanging contact information and providing an elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is a 15 second to one minute pitch telling the employer your name, major, past experiences in the field and how these will prepare you for your future goals.
Each step a student takes, big or small, will better prepare them for their future career. The center recommends checking out their online and in-person resources made available on their website. For similar content, the Career Center is hosting a virtual webinar “Husky to Hire: Applying for Internships and Co-ops” on Sept. 22 at 5 p.m.
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