Today: Apr 14, 2024

Career Countdown: Networking

BETHANY TULLER Career Services Undergraduate Intern

Networking. You may have heard the term, but you may not know how to actually do it. Research shows that the majority of people find jobs and advance their careers through networking—that is meeting and forming relationships with many different people. The Center for Career Services believes that in today’s competitive job market, who you know is more important than ever.
So if you’re graduating in May, and your resume is uploaded to hundreds of job sites or still sitting on your desktop, you may not see as much progress as someone who uses off-line networking to their advantage.
One of the best tools for networking is an elevator speech. Elevator speeches are short—it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately 30 seconds to two minutes. The important thing is to make a good first impression and grab someone’s interest in a short amount of time.
The key elements of an elevator speech are your name, field of interest and something that makes you “special.” Your goal is to stand out from the crowd and be remembered. Some things to think about when crafting an elevator speech are: “What are your key strengths?” “What adjectives describe you?” “What is it you are trying to let others know about you?” and “Why are you interested in the company or field this person represents?”
Practice makes perfect. The best elevator speech sounds natural and shows your confidence and enthusiasm. Practice several versions for different people you may meet. You can use your elevator speech anywhere—at networking events or the Career Fair; in casual situations such as waiting in line or plane flights; or at a job interview to answer the question: “Tell me about yourself.”
Now that you have an elevator speech, you can go into the world confidently knowing that you are always prepared for networking opportunities. You can also make an appointment with the Center of Career Services to meet with a counselor—we’re open all summer!

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