Top Ten Tips for Networking Success
1. Prepare an introduction for employers and practice it. Find examples here!
2. Dress Appropriately:
· Neat and well groomed
3. Bring copies of your résumé.
4. Maintain eye contact.
5. Research the companies in advance.
6. Ask questions – be engaged! Find examples here!
7. Create business cards and distribute them to employers.
8. Show enthusiasm and a positive attitude!
9. Follow up with employers after the fair.
10. ATTEND and have fun!
BEFORE THE FAIR
· Research exhibitors. Find the List of Exhibitors here!
· Look up the positions they are hiring for on their website, and prepare to talk about the ones that interest you.
· Update résumé and have it reviewed at the Career Services Centre on your campus.
· Prepare your introduction to employers and practice it. Find some examples here!
· Create a plan of action that targets the employers you want to see - pick up a floor plan when you arrive.
· Put together a list of questions to ask employers. Find some examples here!
· Anticipate employer questions.
· Invest in some business cards, or make your own!
· Be realistic – you are making contacts at the Fair, not neccessarily being offered a job.
DURING THE FAIR
· Come early and stay late. Target 10 to 15 employers and budget your time with each of them!
· Show employers that you are interested by spending 80% of your time listening.
· Ask questions!
· Spend 3-5 minutes with employers.
· Distribute business cards.
· Conduct yourself in a professional manner – eye contact, firm handshake, dress appropriately, a smile and a positive attitude.
· Take notes – jot down brief notes as you leave each booth recording your immediate thoughts and items that need follow up.
· Request business cards from anyone you are speaking to that you would like to maintain contact with.
Do’s and Don’ts
Questions for Employers
· What kind of skills and experience do you look for?
· What courses or experiences do you think are important?
· What kind of entry-level positions (or internships) exist within your organization?
· Are graduate degrees important to advance in your organization?
· What is your organization’s culture like?
· How long have you worked in this company and how did you get your job?
· How did you prepare yourself for this job?
30 Second Introduction
Having a 30 second introduction prepared can help alleviate nerves when approaching employers. Make sure you tailor your information so that it is relevant to the person you're talking to. A few things that you may want to include are:
· Mention your degree/program.
· What you are looking for and be specific. Instead of saying a full time job, say what type of job you are looking for.
· What sets you apart from others? Maybe it’s your strengths in the field, interest in the organization or relevant experience or skills. Don’t forget – academic, work and volunteer are ALL experience.
· End with a question that will generate information and get the employer talking.
Enquiring about employment opportunities:
"My name is Kate Hewson. I'm in chemical engineering and I'm interested in production-related work in the food and brewing industry. I have one summer of directly-related experience in quality control and have completed a major project on yeast culture enhancement. I would like to talk to you about how my background relates to work you do."
Looking for career advice:
“Hello, my name is Sanjay and I am currently in my 2nd year of Mechanical Engineering. I am at the fair today to gain information about my industry to help me decide what area I want to concentrate on. I was researching your company and was very interested in some of the projects that you are working on. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about different career options.”
Information on a posted position:
“Hello. My name is Pat Brokes and I am in my third year of an Arts degree, majoring in Psychology . I noticed from your website that you have an opening for a Youth Worker, which matches my experience. My courses and projects have been really focused on youth psychology and intervention methods. I also have been volunteering with a street youth group for the past 3 years. Can you tell me a little more about this position? “
AFTER THE FAIR
· Follow up immediately.
· Send thank you notes and refer to the specific topics you spoke about.
· Send employers an updated targeted copy of your résumé.
If you require more assistance to prepare for the Halifax Universities Career Fair or need guidance on how to build your career, visit the Career Services office at your campus. Visit the website for Career Services at Saint Mary's University, Dalhousie University and Mount Saint Vincent University today!