• 3 events employers won’t want to miss on college campuses

    August 11, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly searching for top talent to fill job openings for employers. A lot of the talent employers need and want can potentially be found on college campuses. Recruiting on campus means taking time from their busy schedules unless employers reach out to companies like College Recruiter for help with creative advertising solutions. If companies decide to visit institutions of higher education face-to-face, what are the most important events for them to attend? For employers pondering this issue, Jennifer Donovan, Director of News and Media Relations at Michigan Technological University, shares three events recruiters and talent acquisition professionals should attend on her campus.

    • Fall and Spring Career Fairs, where thousands of students can meet employers, learn about their companies and career opportunities, and schedule one-on-one interviews with recruiters on the spot.  More than 500 employers attend Michigan Tech’s Career Fairs each year. This is pretty impressive, considering that we are about as remote as you can get, 500 miles north of Detroit and near no other big cities. Our dynamic Career Fairs probably account for Michigan Tech’s astounding 94 percent job placement rate within 6 months of graduation.
    • CareerFest/Industry Days, a series of industry-specific events in a tent in the middle of campus, including hands-on activities, demos, barbecues, lab tours. A very popular and well-attended one is Automotive Days. Others include Steel Days, Rail Days and Mining Days. CareerFest and Industry Days give employers a chance to zero in on the students who are particularly interested in their industry, to inform them and perhaps attract new interest in the field.
    • Design Expo, where student teams display and explain their year-long research projects, ranging from a micro-scale processor that can fix pacemakers in place to a dryer for small-scale hops growers. The projects are industry-sponsored and give the students a chance to work across disciplinary lines to solve real-world employer problems. Employers attending Design Expo could see what innovative problem-solvers Michigan Tech students are trained to be.”
    Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations at Michigan Technological University

    Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations at Michigan Technological University

    Looking for more advice on recruiting top talent? Visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Jennifer Donovan is Director of News and Media Relations at Michigan Technological University, a STEM-focused state university on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She assigns, writes, and edits stories for the university’s news website and daily e-newsletter, Tech Today, and works with news media locally, nationally, and internationally to help them find expert sources and story ideas. In a previous life, she was a newspaper reporter and magazine writer. She lives in Houghton, Michigan, with her two cats.

     

  • 5 ways juniors can take advantage of career services

    July 19, 2016 by

    It’s finally your junior year of college. You’re more than halfway finished with your undergraduate courses. Woohoo!

    You can certainly breathe a sigh of relief and feel a sense of accomplishment, but you have some serious career-related tasks to accomplish this year. Most college students don’t simply land a great job after graduating. It’s a step-by-step process which requires you to do your part in collaboration with your career services office on campus. As Patricia Niemann, Career Development Consultant, puts it, “career development is the bridge that you will travel from your educational environment to future career opportunities.”

    This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, lists six ways juniors in college can take advantage of career services to get ahead in the job search game.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    1. Ensure that you’ve written a super solid resume and cover letter.

    Now is the time to edit and update your resume with the help of your career services office on campus and to create a basic cover letter if you didn’t do so during your sophomore year. Career services will be glad to help you do this. Most career services offices even host special resume workshops and events, or you can set up a one-on-one resume appointment. No matter what approach you take, get it done. Don’t wait until the day before a job or internship interview. Creating or editing a resume takes time, even for a professional.

     

    2. Gain work experience in your field of study.

    It doesn’t matter if the experience is paid or unpaid. It doesn’t matter if you work five or 20 hours per week. It simply matters that you gain work experience in your field of study or as closely related to your field of study as possible. Are you majoring in criminal justice? Contact your local police department to ask about opportunities there. Is there a battered women’s shelter or sexual assault center in your area? Perhaps you could serve as a volunteer victim’s advocate. The possibilities are endless, but you have to take initiative. Working with career services is priceless. It’s the job of a career services professional to keep in touch with local employers and to serve as a liaison with organizations like these. Let your career services professionals work as advocates for you. Why do all the hard work yourself if you don’t have to? Don’t overlook sites like CollegeRecruiter.com, either. We can help. When you register, you tell us what you’re looking for, and we send you new job postings related only to your search criteria.

     

    3. Up your networking game.

    During your first and second years of college, it might have been enough to simply keep your social media sites clean of inappropriate content and to occasionally add new contacts. That’s not going to cut it your last two years of undergraduate study.

    Start reaching out to alumni and chatting with employers via discussion boards online. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to these activities per week. Up your game online, and you’ll be surprised how many connections you’ll gain and what types of opportunities may surface as a result. Each time you attend an event with employers present, retain business cards and invite those employers (recruiters, hiring managers, and others) to connect with you on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other professional networking sites. If they don’t accept your invitations, don’t take it personally. If they do connect with you, send a personal message thanking them for adding you. Don’t harass employers online or send annoying messages, but don’t be afraid to like their posts or comment on content they share in a thoughtful and insightful manner.

     

    4. Acquire better soft skills.

    Ask career services professionals for opportunities to improve your soft skills. Seek feedback from your career services staff on where your strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of soft skills. Are you great at communicating in writing but poor at communicating face-to-face? You might need to practice interview questions with a career services member before conducting on-campus interviews with employers. Are you a strong leader but not so great at teamwork? Find ways to get involved in organizations requiring you to collaborate with others on campus.

     

    5. Take grad school entrance practice exams.

    If you plan on attending graduate school after you graduate from college, it’s a good idea to take practice exams for the GRE, MCAT, and other entrance exams for graduate schools during your junior year. Most of these are offered at no cost and can be found online. Career services offices often offer assistance in pointing students to these exams or to study guides on many campuses.

     

    Lastly, and this is a bonus tip: don’t just attend the career fair your junior year of college.

    The career fair is a great event—and a must—but challenge yourself to attend at least two other events sponsored by career services as well. Ask your career services office which events are most important on your campus. Is it the etiquette dinner, on-campus interviews, mock interviews, or other key events? Each campus has its own key events, so don’t assume you know which matter most without asking.

    Want more help finding ways to guarantee career success? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

  • How employers can maximize relationships with career services

    July 14, 2016 by

    Most successful college recruitment plans include strategic relationships with key colleges and universities. One of the best ways to develop relationships with colleges and universities is by developing relationships with career services professionals on target campuses. This three-minute video, featuring The WorkPlace Group Executive Partner, Dr. Steven Lindner, explains how employers can maximize relationships with career services professionals. Dr. Steven Lindner also explains why talent acquisition leaders this matters in the grand scheme of the hiring process. Dr. Steven Lindner is hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Career services matters, Dr. Steven Lindner states, because career services is the avenue for sharing information about job postings with college students on campus. Career services professionals allow employers to access students’ resumes and to participate in career fairs. Career services professionals make employers aware of student organizations and opportunities for sponsoring events held by organizations; for employers, these can be affordable, unique branding and marketing opportunities.

    Dr. Steven Lindner shares two specific tips from The WorkPlace Group with employers.

    1. Invite college students to visit your organization to conduct a site visit.

    Let them experience your company culture and work environment. While conducting the tour of your company headquarters, introduce college students to current interns and recent graduates you’ve hired who are thriving within your organization. Explain your targeted candidate profile and success profile. Keep in mind that students who visit will likely share their experience with other students on campus; try to ensure that students return to campus sharing positive information about your organization.

    2. Be persistent when interacting with career services professionals.

    Remember that career services professionals are incredibly busy and are interacting not only with college students on campus but also with all the employers vying for their attention and assistance. One of the best times to reach out to career services professionals is during the summer months before students return to campus in the fall.

    For more assistance in improving your relationships with career services professionals, follow College Recruiter on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner for The WorkPlace Group®, is a talent acquisition, assessment, and hiring process expert. Under his leadership, The WorkPlace Group® has helped employers hire thousands of job seekers across 44 different countries. The WorkPlace Group® is a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. In addition to their Recruitment Outsourcing and Project Based Hiring Services, they are one of just a few recruitment providers with specific expertise in College Recruitment.

  • Narrowing your candidate pool

    March 30, 2016 by

    When recruiting college students and recent grads, it’s important to narrow your candidate pool as you go through the college recruiting process.

    This article and accompanying three videos, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, feature The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, and Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner. The videos are part of a 15-video series featuring The WorkPlace Group experts.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Employers can become overwhelmed by the number of candidates in the candidate pool, depending on the size of the employer and number of internships and entry-level jobs available. The process of narrowing down the pool typically begins with resume review.

    Individuals apply in numerous ways: resume books, walk-in applicants, job boards, career fairs, on-campus interviews, etc. Regardless of how candidates apply, resumes must be reviewed. WPG uses a resume checklist which is scientifically constructed. Reviewing resumes objectively allows employers to make clear inferences about candidates’ qualifications.

    In high volume situation, particularly for employers with large college recruiting programs, WPG recommends using a web screen to narrow the candidate pool. The web screen allows employers to quickly qualify or disqualify candidates. Next, employers conduct either a phone screen or video-based interviews. This step helps the recruiters get to know the candidates on a deeper level.

    After conducting these screening steps, the employer would interview the candidate face-to-face: either an OCI (on-campus interview) or an interview on site at the employer location. This would help the employer to decide whether to hire or not hire the individual and to decide whether to conduct background checks, drug screenings, and other necessary paperwork.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    The qualities employers should be looking for when recruiting candidates can vary depending on the organization and the job function/position. The WorkPlace Group develops an ideal candidate profile featuring the requirements for the position and nice-to-haves when working with employers. Employers should also consider what learning objectives they want to set for each position—what do they want student interns to learn? By working through this process before interviewing candidates, employers can eliminate the problem of hiring the wrong candidates for positions.

    The last video offers specific tips for narrowing the candidate pool.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    1) Focus on soft skills in interviews, not technical competencies, when interviewing interns and recent grads. Employers must remember that students are students, not polished professionals.

    2) Use situational questions, not behavioral interview questions. Ask “can do, not have done” type questions. Students won’t necessarily be able to draw upon past experience when answering interview questions, but they can explain what they might do hypothetically. They can demonstrate problem solving skills when answering situational questions.

    3) When hiring for technical roles, focus assessment at the right level. You can’t expect new grads to be experts in technical areas; you can expect them to have an appropriate level of skill based on their education and level of experience, though. Talk to them about their projects in particular classes to gain insight into their studies.

    Always be as rigorous and scientific as possible in the interview process.

     

    For more tips on college recruiting from The WorkPlace Group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all 15 videos featuring experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.

    Follow our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, has appeared in many radio and TV interviews and a frequent presenter at HR conferences.  He writes weekly employment articles for the NY Daily News and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

     

     

     

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, is a partner and director of assessment services of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.  Demetriadou is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Taskforce. She is a frequent presenter at HR conferences and has led many multinational recruiting programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Graduate Center at Baruch College, CUNY.

     

  • 4 tips for big impact in college recruiting

    March 25, 2016 by

    When talent acquisition leaders map out their annual college recruiting plans, they should take into account the following four tips, courtesy of The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, and Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner.

    This article includes two brief videos, hosted by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter. The videos are part of a 15-video series featuring The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    1. Take time to plan out the process.

    Think about branding. How are you making your messaging unique? What will help you stand out in the sea of emails, texts, and flyers on campus? How will you help college students remember you compared to other employers?

    2. The early bird gets the worm.

    Register for career fairs early. If you register early, you often get the best spot with more exposure to students who attend. If you wait too long before registering, you may not be able to attend.

    Similarly, don’t wait for events to occur to reach out to students. Begin the communication process before you show up on campus and before candidates arrive on-site for interviews. Keep the doors of communication open at all times.

    3. Think about who will represent you on campus.

    Who will you send to represent you at career fairs and other events? This is a crucial choice in the college recruiting process. If you don’t have a well-trained team, and you send hiring managers or other employees, you should prepare these employees as well as possible. Equip them with a broad understanding of the types of skill sets you’re looking for, which positions are available, and the employer brand you’re attempting to display on campus.

    Be sure that the representative you send to campus events is able to communicate clearly not only about technical skills but is also able to evaluate candidates’ soft skills.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    4. Follow up.

    Following up is key to ensuring success after events end. Many companies ensure huge presence on the day of events but fail to follow up with candidates later. When top candidates weigh their options, employers who have built better relationships stand out.

     

    For more tips on college recruiting from The WorkPlace Group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all 15 videos featuring experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.

    Follow our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, has appeared in many radio and TV interviews and a frequent presenter at HR conferences.  He writes weekly employment articles for the NY Daily News and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

     

     

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, is a partner and director of assessment services of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.  Demetriadou is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Taskforce. She is a frequent presenter at HR conferences and has led many multinational recruiting programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Graduate Center at Baruch College, CUNY.

  • Selecting schools for college recruiting

    March 24, 2016 by

    When selecting colleges and universities to recruit from, employers must consider a variety of factors.  This article and accompanying video series, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, explore selecting schools for college recruiting in depth and features The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, and Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner.

    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    When selecting schools to recruit from, examine the career services office and resources on campus. Does the career services office offer resume books, on-campus interview opportunities, career fairs, or other opportunities for engagement with students? Not every college or university offers these events. When are these events and opportunities available? The school’s event cycle may not match your recruiting and hiring cycle. How much does the school charge for these services/events? Weigh the costs charged by the university when selecting schools to recruit from as well.

    Employers must also consider how many other employers they will be competing against in comparison to the number of students/grads or candidates available. It may be better to be a large fish in a small pond. Unless you have fabulous job offers to present, you might not be able to attract top talent.

    When selecting schools for college recruiting, it’s also important to evaluate student enrollment data. If you need to hire MBA graduates, and the university’s MBA program is not one of its better programs, that school may not be the best fit for your college recruiting program.

    The next video provides tips about narrowing down their list of schools to recruit from.

    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Employers should never be afraid to narrow down their target list for selecting schools for college recruiting from year to year. Recruiters will discover that retention is key; you may get terrific talent, but if you can’t retain star employees long-term, a particular college or university might not be the best fit for your company. The longer you recruit, the more historical data you’ll have to fall back on.

    Always evaluate and assess your data. Ask the career services office for information about where their students are finding employment. Most career services directors are willing to partner with employers; career services directors who are willing to go above and beyond can help make up for lack of services and events they may not provide. Career services employees can provide employers with the chance to brand themselves on campus and to gain much-needed exposure on campus; they also keep employers in the loop and introduce recruiters to faculty members. Relationships with faculty members prove key in the college recruiting process.

    In the last video, experts Dr. Steven Lindner and Dr. Domniki Demetriadou discuss the need to adapt recruiting strategy from school to school.

    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    The WorkPlace Group experts encourage adaptation of strategy based on the situation and school. There may be some times when it’s appropriate to post jobs online only, and some situations when it’s better to have a strong on-campus presence. It’s important to have a tiered structure around college recruiting. Not all colleges and universities are the same; whatever amount of effort you put into college recruiting will determine your outcomes.

    For more tips on college recruiting from The WorkPlace Group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all 15 videos featuring experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.

    Follow our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

     

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, has appeared in many radio and TV interviews and a frequent presenter at HR conferences.  He writes weekly employment articles for the NY Daily News and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

     

     

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, is a partner and director of assessment services of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.  Demetriadou is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Taskforce. She is a frequent presenter at HR conferences and has led many multinational recruiting programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Graduate Center at Baruch College, CUNY.

  • Focusing on branding in college recruiting

    February 26, 2016 by

    In recruiting college students, recruiters should focus on employer branding. An employer brand represents what a company stands for; it’s why or why not job seekers will work for a business. Brian Easter, Co-Founder of Nebo Agency, explains how his company recruits college students with care and dedication.

    Photo of Brian Easter

    Brian Easter, Co-Founder of Nebo Agency

    “Nebo’s success has been a direct result of our human-centered approach to doing business. It’s because we respect users we’re able to craft successful, long-term strategies for clients over short-term gains; it’s because we love and value clients we build lasting relationships with them; and it’s because we see culture as our competitive advantage we’ve been able to fill the Nebo ranks with the industry’s best people.

    As such, we fiercely defend our culture by standing up for our employees at all times. We will fire and have fired clients on the spot when they question the value of our employees’ hard work. Like we’ve always said, Nebo was started to repair a broken industry, and it’s a goal we have in mind at every step.

    We’d put the growth opportunities at Nebo against any other agency. More than half of our management positions are staffed by people who started as interns or in entry-level positions. We promote from within to maintain our culture, and we think it’s important to reward good work. We hire people who have potential to grow with the agency, meaning they are passionate, intelligent, have integrity, and want to make the world a better place. We hire people who have a greater mission. Nebo promotes based on merit and does not withhold promotions to make new employees “pay their dues.”

    This manner of care and dedication to our employees translates to how we recruit and attract college students to Nebo. We are actively involved with a number of southeastern colleges, particularly the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, in part because of their vicinities to our Atlanta office, but also because we are an office divided with proud Bulldawg and Jacket grads. Throughout the year, we attend career fairs, advertising, marketing, and PR organizational events, as well as host agency tours.

    Whenever we plan an appearance at a college event, we don’t settle for just distributing basic fliers. We want our presence to reflect our unique culture at Nebo. Whether that means a contest guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar, giving away a drone or scholarship money to someone with the most compelling tweet, or personalizing t-shirts to embrace each school, we want students to know we are as excited to be there as they are. We always strive to provide every student with a remarkable experience with the Nebo brand.

    Every year, Nebo receives thousands of resumes with a large majority from current college students, so we like to think our approach to engaging college students is working. We’ve made it our mission to create a place where the industry’s top talent comes together to help clients make the world a better place.”

    At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career, and we are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to great careers. Let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for more information about the best practices in college recruiting.

    As Co-Founder of Nebo, Brian Easter brings international experience to his role along with a proven track record of helping organizations reach their digital marketing objectives. Under his leadership, Nebo has enjoyed 12 straight years of growth, has never laid a single employee off, and has won over 100 digital awards in just the past years alone.

  • How to make the most of professional networking events

    January 26, 2016 by

    If you’re like one third to one half of the U.S. population who consider themselves introverted, discussing professional networking events—whether career fairs, meet and greet hours held at conferences, or even happy hour with coworkers or potential employers—induces slightly sweaty palms. Networking events are often referred to as “shmoozy events” because of the negative connotations associated with networking.

    Done the right way, professional networking doesn’t have to be socially awkward; you don’t have to push yourself on others or worry about saying exactly the right thing at just the right time in order to land a job or get a raise. It is important to remember, though, that first impressions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. That’s a powerful statistic and one that sticks; the primacy effect (the tendency to remember what we notice first, whether it proves accurate or not) has lasting impact on our brains.

    This brief video provides college students and recent grads with simple, easy tips to implement at networking events. These tips are especially helpful if you’re a networking newbie, about to graduate and begin networking as part of your efforts to find your first full-time job.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    1. Eat prior to arrival.

    While light to heavy hors d’oeuvres are often served at most networking events, it’s never a good idea to arrive on an empty stomach. Be sure that the snack you choose isn’t heavy on onions or garlic-laden, though; you don’t want to carry offensive odors to your networking event.

    Arriving without an empty stomach will help you feel calm and mentally alert. You will be more able to focus on potential employers, build connections, and enjoy yourself if you’re not hungry.

    2. Dress conservatively.

    Dress codes are all over the place for networking events. Play it safe and stay conservative, wearing business attire. You can’t really go wrong with a well-fitting business suit. If you want to dress it up, wear a brighter shirt or tie than you might normally wear, but don’t go crazy. Networking events aren’t the time to pull out your new sequined dress or to dress down either, thinking it’s more about socializing. Remember, you’re ultimately there to build professional connections; these connections might assist you in your job or internship search now or later.

    3. Smile!

    Smiling is the easiest way to let people know you’re approachable. If you’re introverted, intimidated, or simply not excited about the event, smiling is a great “fake it til you make it” strategy for making the most of networking events. You’re already there, so why not have a good time?

    4. Go hands-free.

    Keep one hand free at all times. If you must eat a quick snack, put down your drink in order to eat. Best case scenario, though, you will watch this video and read this article before you begin attending networking events, and you can adhere to tip #1 (eat prior to arrival). When you eat prior to arrival, you’ll find yourself able to more easily shake hands, exchange business cards, and carry a bottle of water because not carrying a plate of food.

    Businesspeople shaking hands at networking event

    Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

    5. Prepare an elevator pitch.

    At professional networking events, you’re most likely going to introduce yourself and be asked the question, “So what do you do?” repeatedly. An elevator pitch answers this question and then some. Your elevator pitch—if pitched properly, that is—communicates who you are (in terms of education and work history), what you do (related to jobs and careers), what you want to do, and why. It’s important that potential future employers understand that you have specific goals—that’s an admirable quality, one most employers seek in candidates.

    Your elevator pitch should last no longer than 30 seconds (stay focused) and should end with a question. That question shouldn’t be, “How can you help me?” Even though we’re all seeking help from others in the job search process, the question should be focused on your new contact. Is your contact the CEO of a company? Ask him how he began his career in the business world. Ending with a question lets the other person know that you are not self-centered; networking is a two-way street, and getting to know your connections is vital to successful networking.

    If your new contacts or potential employers want to get to know you further after you give your spiel, they’ll follow up with questions. On the front end, keep it short and sweet.

    6. Talk less; listen more.

    As the saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Talk to someone about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours.” General managers consistently rank listening as one of the top skills in the workplace, too. It matters, and people value you when you do it well.

    7. Give and receive contact information.

    Prepare business cards before beginning your job search or internship search. You can purchase very affordable business cards online from a variety of vendors or use a business card template available for free online. You definitely don’t want to arrive at networking events empty-handed, though.

    When someone asks for your business card, it’s proper etiquette to ask for theirs as well (and vice versa). Don’t make it your goal, though, to procure as many business cards at networking events as possible. There’s no point in this behavior. Unless you actually established an initial connection with a real person at a networking event, a business card is just a piece of paper.

    If possible, wear pants or a skirt with pockets or carry a small purse. You need a place to keep the business cards you gather. You might think of the whole “exchanging business cards” process as old-fashioned, but it’s still being done, and if you don’t bring cards to networking events, you’re the one who’ll be left out.

    8. Call them by name.

    When introduced to someone new at a professional networking event, call that person by name throughout the event. Not only will this help you remember the person’s name later, but it will also make that person feel recognized and provide a personal touch (give that person warm fuzzies), and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    9. Follow up.

    You don’t need to come home after networking events and immediately search for your new contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter, sending invitations like a stalker. Connecting on social media is part of networking, but following up has many layers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Think carefully about each of your brand new contacts and how you might best connect with them individually before sending a mass email to 20 potential employers with your resume, references, and electronic portfolio attached.

    Remember, networking—whether online or offline—is about building connections which hopefully last for a lifetime. These relationships are just like the other relationships you invest in; relationships require work, and relationships are about give and take. Those same principles apply to professional networking.

    For more Tuesday Tips, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success and introduce you to great jobs, internships, and careers. Begin your search and apply today!

     

     

     

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