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5 Networking Tips For College Students

Jul 21, 2021 Posted by Rob Leteste

Take over your career advancement - you are the talent companies are fighting over. One avenue you have for making that happen is Be in Buffalo’s Intern Takeover on Aug. 5, 4-8pm. The event will feature a panel of career advice and then networking time including cornhole with a mentor, raffle prizes, company tables full of opportunities, a free LinkedIn headshot booth, free food (of course), and more.

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August 5, 4-8pm
Seneca One Tower 

Now that you’ve got a networking event coming up, let’s run through some tips to get you an interview offer.

  • Be your own brand – Flip the question “what kind of employee are you looking for?” into a statement about the kind of employee you would be for an employer. Have a 60-second value statement prepared about what makes you unique, and how your combination of skills and perspective would create a more well-rounded team for a company.

 

  • Research the employers attending the event – Knowing what a company does shows the hiring rep you have put some effort in to getting to them and came to the conversation prepared. Bringing up some recent news from the company is also a great ice breaker for us introverts: “I saw you released a new version of your software, could you tell me more about that?”

 

  • Allow conversations to flow naturally – You’re 30-seconds into your elevator pitch and the hiring rep clearly wants to interject – let them. The conversation about their new software has shifted into one about the watch you are wearing – that’s actually great. Your education and skills may be pre-requisites, but how your personality comes across is the entrance exam for a career.

 

  • Bring a notepad – Make it something small enough you can easily hold in one hand so you can take notes during a conversation. Perhaps even write down some of your pre-event research. Ask for a business card from the rep you spoke with and write their name next to your notes. Pro-tip: Revisit the notes you took for each employer after the event. Add in additional thoughts on what you liked about them or the role while the experience is still fresh in your mind!

 

  • Follow-up – How you follow-up digitally is a major part of your brand. Thank the rep for their time, and add-in something from your notes to help remind them of your conversation. Ask for a follow-up conversation if you liked the role. Include a current PDF version of your resume. Conclude your email with a signature line that lists your LinkedIn profile URL (and make sure that has a professional photo!).

With this toolkit you’re ready to make an impression at your next networking event. Remember though, these are intended to be a mix of work and fun. Take breaks between employer conversations to listen to some guest speakers, play a game or two, and listen to other job seekers chat about themselves. You’ve overcome a lot while learning during the pandemic, this career search has got nothing on you.

About the Author - Rob Leteste is an Economic Development Analyst with Invest Buffalo Niagara.