Networking

Networking: [net-wur-king]
verb to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position

Network Or Not Work

Networking involves talking with people you know about the kind of job you are seeking. Remember: The more people you talk with, the more contacts you will make. There is a direct, positive relationship between the number of people who know you are job seeking and job search success.

Start with Your Friends and Associates

Networking starts with your current circle of friends and associates. Simply build and enhance this network by asking each friend to recommend two new people for you to talk to about your job search. Consider the last time you made a major decision, such as attending school at PNC, finding a new apartment, purchasing a stereo system or declaring a major. You made those decisions by researching the topic and talking with other people. Generally, the more people you talked to the more you found out – leading to a better decision! Apply the concept to employer research. You want to learn about potential employers – so talk to people.

Building Connections

Career Events on campus are designed to connect students with business professionals for potential internships as well as future employment opportunities. The following guide has been designed to help you prepare for networking events like career fairs, information sessions, networking events, as well as other career events you may be attending. Please remember that preparedness counts and you are not only representing yourself, but also Purdue University North Central.

On behalf of The Career Center, we wish you the best in all of your future endeavors!

Return to Career Events Prep Handbook

Brand

<p>An elevator speech is a term taken from the early days of the internet explosion when web development companies needed venture capital. Finance firms were swamped with applications for money and the companies that won the cash were often those with a simple pitch. The best were those that could explain a business proposition to the occupants of an elevator in the time it took them to ride to their floor. In other words, an elevator speech that worked was able to describe and sell an idea in 30 seconds or less. Today, an elevator speech can be any kind of short speech that sells an idea, promotes your business or markets you as an individual.</p>
<p>An elevator speech is as essential as a business card. You need to be able to say who you are, what you do, what you are interested in doing and how you can be a resource to your listeners. If you don’t have an elevator speech, people won’t know what you really do.</p>
<h3><strong>”Tell me about yourself.”</strong></h3>
<p>Someday, you may be in a situation where this four question prompt, and your subsequent response, could have more of an impact on your career than the hundreds of words on your resume. The key is to be confident, enthusiastic, and to provide enough background information on your strengths and accomplishments to entice them to ask for more. Build your elevator speech by considering the following:</p>
<h3>Know Your Audience</h3>
<p>Before writing any part of your elevator speech, research your audience. You will be much more likely to succeed if your elevator speech is clearly targeted at the individuals you are speaking to. Having a generic elevator speech is almost certain to fail.</p>
<h3>Know Yourself</h3>
<p>Before you can convince anyone of your proposition you need to know exactly what it is. You need to define precisely what you are offering, what problems you can solve and what benefits you bring to a prospective contact or employer.</p>
<p>Answer the following questions:</p>
<ul>
<li>What are your key strengths?</li>
<li>What adjectives come to mind to describe you?</li>
<li>What is it you are trying to sell or let others know about you?</li>
<li>Why are you interested in the company or industry the person represents?</li>
</ul>
<h3>Outline Your Talk</h3>
<p>Start an outline of your material using bullet points. You don’t need to add any detail at this stage; simply write a few notes to help remind you of what you really want to say. They don’t need to be complete sentences.</p>
<p>You can use the following questions to start your outline:</p>
<ul>
<li>Who am I?</li>
<li>What do I offer?</li>
<li>What are the main contributions I can make?</li>
<li>What should the listener do as a result of hearing this?</li>
</ul>
<h3>Finalize Your Speech</h3>
<p>Now that you have your outline of your material, you can finalize the speech. The key to doing this is to expand on the notes you made by writing out each section in full.</p>
<p>To help you do this, follow these guidelines:</p>
<ul>
<li>Take each note you made and write a sentence about it.</li>
<li>Take each of the sentences and connect them together with additional phrases to make them flow.</li>
<li>Go through what you have written and change any long words or jargon into everyday language.</li>
<li>Go back through the re-written material and cut out unnecessary words.</li>
<li>Finalize your speech by making sure it is no more than 90 words long.</li>
</ul>
<h3>For Your Consideration</h3>
<p>Don’t forget to consider the following:</p>
<ul>
<li>Your posture</li>
<li>Make Eye Contact</li>
<li>Your tone of voice (don’t be too loud or not loud enough, and be polite!)</li>
<li>Handshake (firm, but not too firm)</li>
<li>Clothing (professional is best)</li>
<li>Facial Expressions (you face tells a story too)</li>
<li>”Um’s” and “uh’s”</li>
</ul>
<p><a href=”http://webs.purduecal.edu/careerservices/career-events-prep-handbook/”>Return to Career Events Prep Handbook</a></p>

Your Elevator Speech Tool Kit

An elevator speech is a term taken from the early days of the internet explosion when web development companies needed venture capital. Finance firms were swamped with applications for money and the companies that won the cash were often those with a simple pitch. The best were those that could explain a business proposition to the occupants of an elevator in the time it took them to ride to their floor. In other words, an elevator speech that worked was able to describe and sell an idea in 30 seconds or less. Today, an elevator speech can be any kind of short speech that sells an idea, promotes your business or markets you as an individual.

An elevator speech is as essential as a business card. You need to be able to say who you are, what you do, what you are interested in doing and how you can be a resource to your listeners. If you don’t have an elevator speech, people won’t know what you really do.

“Tell me about yourself.”

Someday, you may be in a situation where this four question prompt, and your subsequent response, could have more of an impact on your career than the hundreds of words on your resume. The key is to be confident, enthusiastic, and to provide enough background information on your strengths and accomplishments to entice them to ask for more. Build your elevator speech by considering the following:

Know Your Audience

Before writing any part of your elevator speech, research your audience. You will be much more likely to succeed if your elevator speech is clearly targeted at the individuals you are speaking to. Having a generic elevator speech is almost certain to fail.

Know Yourself

Before you can convince anyone of your proposition you need to know exactly what it is. You need to define precisely what you are offering, what problems you can solve and what benefits you bring to a prospective contact or employer.

Answer the following questions:

  • What are your key strengths?
  • What adjectives come to mind to describe you?
  • What is it you are trying to sell or let others know about you?
  • Why are you interested in the company or industry the person represents?

Outline Your Talk

Start an outline of your material using bullet points. You don’t need to add any detail at this stage; simply write a few notes to help remind you of what you really want to say. They don’t need to be complete sentences.

You can use the following questions to start your outline:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I offer?
  • What are the main contributions I can make?
  • What should the listener do as a result of hearing this?

Finalize Your Speech

Now that you have your outline of your material, you can finalize the speech. The key to doing this is to expand on the notes you made by writing out each section in full.

To help you do this, follow these guidelines:

  • Take each note you made and write a sentence about it.
  • Take each of the sentences and connect them together with additional phrases to make them flow.
  • Go through what you have written and change any long words or jargon into everyday language.
  • Go back through the re-written material and cut out unnecessary words.
  • Finalize your speech by making sure it is no more than 90 words long.

For Your Consideration

Don’t forget to consider the following:

  • Your posture
  • Make Eye Contact
  • Your tone of voice (don’t be too loud or not loud enough, and be polite!)
  • Handshake (firm, but not too firm)
  • Clothing (professional is best)
  • Facial Expressions (you face tells a story too)
  • “Um’s” and “uh’s”

Return to Career Events Prep Handbook

Networking Event Protocol

  1. Do Your Homework research the attendees and topics of the evening
  2. Show Up– you never know if a name on that sheet will become the golden ticket to an opportunity
  3. Follow Up–  the key to staying in an employer’s mind after the event is to follow up quickly
  4. Mind Your Manners – always thank the employer for their time and consideration. Handwritten notes or cards go a long way with employers.
  5. Do Not Wait– until you need a network to work on it. Make this a regular part of your daily professional activities. You are an ambitious college student seeking an opportunity, and often times, the most authentic and meaningful professional relationships evolve over time.
  6. Every Person You Know “Counts”– towards your network. Friends, family, professors, classmates, coworkers, employers, and career services staff are all valuable members of your professional network. In fact, one of the best ways to increase the scope of your network is through personal referrals from people you are already connected to.
  7. Just Like Friendships – professional relationships must be mutually beneficial. Although you may not feel like you have anything to offer to someone that gives you a lead on a networking event or employment opportunity, you can always ask if there is anything that you can help him or her with.
  8. Participating In On Campus – activities and student organizations are the first step towards building long-lasting professional relationships that could be beneficial now and in the future. Contact the Office of Campus Life for more information about what opportunities await you.
  9. Volunteer – to build your network. Volunteering is one of the most effective and fulfilling ways to meet new people. Remember other volunteers are professionals and may build your network of connections. Look for Service Learning courses to fulfill your EXL graduation requirements.
  10. Join – Industry associations. Professional membership organizations exist to help people in an industry connect with each other. Don’t miss out on an instant community.

Return to Career Events Prep Handbook

Research

Research: [ri-surch, ree-surch]
verb to make an extensive investigation into: to research a matter thoroughly.

Company Research

Download an interactive PDF of this worksheet to fill out

  • Name of Company:
  • Company Web Address:
  • List of job opportunities:
  • Name, title, and contact information of the person to whom you would send your cover letter and resume to apply for positions:
  • What steps will you take to apply for the position?
  • Is this company publicly traded and if so which exchange and how is it listed?
  • Recent headline about the company and the source of the headline:
  • Two questions you would ask this company based on what you saw in the news:
  • Name of Chief Executive Officer (CEO):
  • Location of headquarters (City, State):
  • List two products and/or services this company provides:
  • List top 3 competitors of this company:

Return to Career Events Prep Handbook

Resume

Resume: [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
noun 1 a summing up; summary. 2 a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

What About A Resume?

Your resume will be scanned and most hiring managers or HR professionals may only look at your resume for 30-60 seconds. Therefore, you need to make sure that the most interesting and compelling information about your skills, qualifications and accomplishments are at the top of your resume, so they read this information about you FIRST. Below are some resume basics:

  • Your name: Centered, bold, and larger font size than the rest of the document.
  • Current and Permanent addresses: Placed on both sides of the document below your name.
  • Phone #: List both your campus and a permanent phone number. Companies do not usually write for an interview.
  • E-mail address: Companies like to first contact students by E-mail.

Objective:

The objective is a brief statement concerning what you hope to achieve with this work experience.

Education:

  • Name and location of the university
  • Month and year of graduation
  • The degree you will receive with minor area
  • Your GPA
  • If you have attended other colleges or universities list them after Purdue, but only if you obtained a degree from that institution
  • List relevant courses taken toward your degree
  • List any languages besides English that you can speak, write, or read

Work Experience:

  • Your position, the company, city and state, and month/year worked
  • List your most recent work experience first
  • Use present tense verbs, to explain what you did (two for four) statements for present work experience.
  • Indicate if the experience was: an internship, a co-op, or summer or part-time employment
  • Use bullet statements
  • Use past tense verbs, to explain what you did (two to four) statements for past work experience

Honors & Activities:

  • List honors received while here at Purdue.
  • List organizations with office or position held.
  • This is also an excellent place to list any volunteer work that you do

Return to Career Events Prep Handbook

Appearance

Appearance: [uh-peer-uhns]
noun the state, condition, manner, or style in which a person or object appears; outward look or aspect.

Dress For Success

Men

Suit:

  • Blue, black or grey
  • Solid or very light stripes
  • Pressed and clean
  • Jacket should not constrict normal movement
  • Sleeve length should extend to wrist
  • Double breasted perceived as more fashionable
  • Single breasted perceived more conservative
  • If in doubt, go for single breasted

Shirt:

  • White or blue
  • Avoid stripes
  • Single breasted suit: Any collar type
  • Double breasted suit: Any collar except button-down
  • Clean and pressed
  • Collar: loose at the neck
  • Sleeve length: stick out ½ inch with suit jackets on
  • Have all buttons buttoned

Neckwear:

  • Depends on the pattern of the suit and shirt
  • Solid suit and shirt: All patterns
  • Striped suit/solid shirt: geometric or muted patterns (no stripes)
  • Glenn plaid suit: uniform geometric or uniform patterns (not plaid)
  • Knot should be clean and tie should be up to the collar fully

Dress Socks:

  • Recommend plain black hosiery with gray or black suits
  • Blue suits: blue socks
  • Patterned hosiery with colors should match colors in tie
  • No cotton socks

Shoes:

  • Black or Cordovan (burgundy)
  • Polish if scuffed
  • Simple lace-up wing tips are generally accepted
  • Recommend you buy good quality leather shoes that are comfortable

Belt:

  • A requirement
  • Simple belt buckle
  • Color should match shoes

Women

Suit:

  • Blue, black, gray, khaki, green, or patterned suit
  • Suit coat/shirt: more traditional
  • Skirt should be no shorter than 1 inch above the knee cap
  • Avoid extreme split in skirts

Blouse:

  • Blouse should generally be of a solid color made of cotton or silk
  • Blouse should be generally of simple cut (not too frilly)
  • General colors: white, beige, ecru, navy, blue, red, not black
  • Neckline should be conservative and not too low

Neckwear:

  • No neckties!
  • Scarves added to distinguish a suit (Ascot or Scout style)
  • Colors should include those being worn

Hosiery:

  • Always wear hose!
  • Coordinate with ensemble
  • Skin colored hose are recommended
  • No textured (lace, snowflake, etc)

Accessories:

  • Belt: Optional depending on the outfit
  • Belt: Color should either coordinate with shoes, outfit or both
  • All jewelry should coordinate in terms of metals (all gold, all silver)
  • 1-2 rings per hand maximum

 

Return to Career Events Prep Handbook