In the HBO series ‘Girls’ Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, finds herself at a crossroads when she fails to her turn her internship into a job after a year of working there… for free.
How do we college students avoid having to move back to our parent’s house, work at local restaurants and default on our student loans?
Below are a few tips to get you at least a little closer to a job offer letter.
Nearly every article, employer and advice columnist urges interns to do this. It is essential that employers see you really showing what you are made of. If you finish your tasks don’t log on to Facebook or Twitter, ask for more work, reach out to other employees and asks them questions. Use your time there as the ultimate learning resource. Show your employers what kind of employee you’d be, believe it or not they are watching.
Terry Pile at Fox News wrote a great article on how to get hired after an internship. Perhaps the most interesting piece of advice was to not be shy about expressing your goals and wants. Too often, especially among women, we feel that we shouldn’t speak up for whatever irrational fears we may have. This is doing a serious disservice to yourself and your career.
Pay Attention to Office Culture:
Often times getting hired has a lot to do with that dread “N” word- Networking. But paying attention the daily interactions and practices of the office can help. By adapting to the culture you make it easier for the staff to bond with you and really see you as part of the team.
Elevator Pitch: increasingly important, especially when networking to get to the next step! You need a powerful and persuasive elevator pitch to extend and support your personal brand. What and How you talk about yourself is equally important.
10 Pitch Tips:
- What is unique about you? Write it down and practice it. How will you stand out from the crowd?
- It has to come naturally and “roll off your tongue”, if it sounds to rehearsed you lose the power of what your saying.
- One sentence is usually enough. One sentence to start is good- it will force you when writing it down to choose your words carefully- and avoid sounding like a rambler. Short and Sweet!
- Your second word should be a verb- what do you do? Think about your accomplishments and results. Use the list of action verbs provided in the NYU Resume handout for guidance.
- You have to believe it! Be confident when telling others about your strengths. If your elevator pitch makes you embarrassed consider why- is it worth changing, or do you need to believe in your accomplishments as much as you are able to actually achieve them?
- Be energetic and enthusiastic!
- Smile! Smiling shows you are confident, friendly and open to continuing the conversation- everything you need to have a successful first impression!
- Know when to shut up and listen. Fight the urge to say more just to fill the space. You elevator pitch should stand on its own and be a gateway to as conversation, not a monologue!
- Leave them wanting more- a great litmus test for your elevator pitch is if the other person asks you a question based off your pitch.
- Have a few elevator pitch tools to fall back on- an elevator pitch is unique to each person. Who your audience is will likely determine what your elevator pitch is- having a few different pitch options will help you to tweak what you say for each situation.
Your elevator pitch should be just like you- unique, well presented and professional!
Yes, what you’ve heard is true: a majority of jobs are never posted. Employers often rely on employee recommendations to fill positions so meeting professionals is a great way to improve your chances of landing that coveted job or internship. Networking can be a scary concept. Don’t play hide and seek with the hidden job market – be constructive and effective with these simple tips. :
1. Make networking a habit. You probably have the opportunity to meet someone new or strengthen a relationship every day. Networking is about building professional relationships with individuals working in a variety of areas. Make it a habit to engage with others even when you aren’t job searching. Offer to help others who want information about your career or connections with your contacts.
2. Talk to people you already know about your career goals. Even
if your friends, family, classmates, or colleagues aren’t pursuing the same profession, they probably have contacts in other areas. Be sure to ask them for introductions – in person or via email.
3. Build upon your current network. Make it a priority to attend events – at Wasserman and elsewhere – where you can meet professionals in your field of interest. Consider joining a student club or professional association to expand these opportunities.
4. Focus on gathering information. Professionals don’t always know about open positions and, even when they do, they may not feel comfortable recommending someone they don’t know. Instead of immediately asking for a job, start a conversation or ask for an informational interview. This strategy can get you insider information on hiring trends and companies in your industry of interest. Once you’ve made a good impression and started to establish a relationship, ask that your contact keep you updated if he/she hears of any openings in the industry.
5. Follow up, but don’t be pesky. There’s a fine line between being assertive and aggressive. After you meet a professional, it’s great to follow up with a brief email or LinkedIn request expressing gratitude for the conversation and/or asking for a follow up discussion. Sending period emails with relevant news articles or brief updates on your professional pursuits are great ways to ensure your contacts will think of you when a position opens.
There’s no denying we live in a society that caters to extroverted individuals. You know the type – outgoing, gregarious, and not afraid to put him/herself out there. If you’re a wall flower, working a room and building a network is sometimes a daunting process. The Harvard Business Review had a great article that gives our introverted folks some insight into how they can network like a pro – or at least like an extrovert! Check it out and let us know what you think.
Remember, most people want to help. It’s a matter of you exuding the confidence and desire to ask for it, and to utilize these connections effectively that will make the difference in your career. We are here to help you create more strategies on effective networking! Feel free to make an appointment with a counselor to talk more about helpful networking tactics.