Coming Prepared For Your College’s Networking Events

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With Thanksgiving break having just come and gone along with several familial interactions, it’s getting to be that time — the time for seniors to start freaking out about entering “the real world” in just a few months’ time. There’s a chance your college is hosting some sort of career fair, career symposium, or another networking event. If you’re anything like me, you know you should probably be going to said events, but you just can’t seem to get past one itty bitty detail…how, exactly, does one network? 

It’s not your fault- you’ve been in class for the past three and a half years. Aside from a few discussions here and there about resumes and work-appropriate attire, chances are you haven’t had many networking etiquette chats.

Fortunately, there’s nothing to fear. Because turns out, networking really isn’t that much more than talking, eating, and maybe the occasional business card exchange. However, it’s the way you go about all of the above that could make or break a potential future LinkedIn connection.

1.) Know your own talking points.

How will you introduce yourself? What values and characteristics will be most effectively packaged up into an opening greeting that accurately conveys you as a professional?

2.) Know what to bring.

Something to write with, something to write on, copies of your resume, and a small stack of business cards if you have them. That’s pretty much it.

3.) Know what you’ll ask.

Not only will it be crucial to ask questions that you have about your own goals and aspirations, but it will also be key to ask others about themselves in your interactions throughout the event.

4.) Know that everyone is in the same boat.

While it may be easy to stand in the corner with your plate of hors d’oeuvres, networking will only be as beneficial as you make it. So go ahead, shake a few hands and make a little small talk. Worst case scenario, you’ll end the night having met some new people. Best case scenario, you make connections that could help you down the road in ways that you couldn’t possibly conceive right now.

Have fun and be yourself! Happy networking!

Tips for Finding a Summer Job Before College

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Finding a Summer Job Before College

Going to college can cost a lot of money, even if you have an all-expenses-paid scholarship. That is why so many proactive incoming and current students use their summer break to earn and save up all that they can. However, finding a temporary summer job that works for your schedule and pays your worth can be difficult. These seven tips for finding a summer job before college will help you get the paycheck you need and deserve.

7 Tips for Finding a Summer Job Before College

1. Build a Résumé

Even if you haven’t worked a day in your life, a résumé is a MUST for all college students. It should highlight any previous work experience, such as volunteering at a local animal shelter or babysitting your neighbor’s child. It can also give an overview of your activities, your accomplishments, and your special skills. Use templates and other people’s résumés to give you an idea of the outline you should use when creating yours.

2. Take the Search Online

Sure, you may see “help wanted” signs in windows, but unless it says “stop in for an application,” you’ll likely have to find and apply for that same job online. Many employers, especially restaurants and retail, now have their applications online and do not take paper copies. Other businesses may have job openings but only list them on their website or on job boards such as Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn. Before you waste a day going in, do your research online.

3. Check Your Network

The best way to find a short-term job is to talk to those who have done it before you. Ask your classmates or your friends. Have parents put in a good word for you with their coworkers. And don’t be afraid to just tell people that you’re looking. You never know who in your own community has an “in” with a job!

4. Look for ‘Seasonal’

Your magic keyword in your search should be “seasonal.” Seasonal is another word for short term based on demand. Seasonal jobs in the summer are usually outdoors, such as working with the local Park and Recreation offices in maintaining parks or being an overnight camp counselor. These jobs are usually perfectly timed to a college student’s schedule and are great ways to earn a quick paycheck without the hassle of a more permanent job.

5. Act Professional

Just because you’ll only be working there for the summer doesn’t mean you can treat it like it has no meaning. You’ll want to dress, speak, and work professionally from the moment you ask for an application until the day you leave. Not only will you be more likely to be hired and receive a great review at the end of the summer, but you may also have made an impression on an employer who could give you a glowing recommendation (and who may hire you back next summer).

6. Be Realistic

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to summer jobs. Your future employer should know when your very last day on-site is. They should also know before hiring you about any vacation time you will need or if you are taking a summer class. The last thing you want is to be fired from a summer job for not being straightforward with your boss.

7. Create Your Own Job

If all else fails, take your motivation to earn money and start your own summer business! It can be as simple as running a drop-in babysitting service for parents in need of a last minute sitter or mowing lawns for neighbors. All you need is some creativity and an eye for what others want and will pay for.