Progress: Insight for Career Growth

Networking

 

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Relationship-building for a purpose of mutual professional benefit Networking is the ability to connect with people who may be on a career path you are interested in. These conversations are the opportunity to exchange ideas and information between people who have a shared interest. Networking can be one on one or in a group setting, often times informal. This goal of networking is to enable you to find future job opportunities, help others and advance your career. Networking encourages people to learn more about potential career fields and enhance interpersonal skills.

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Employers want to know who you are professionally and what you bring to the table. Networking is your time to communicate your skills and the value you have.

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Attending in person or virtual events such as panels, committees, meet & greets, or conferences. Networking can also be considered doing outreach such as connecting with people through email, LinkedIn, social media or phone calls.

Ways to Network

SMUNetwork LinkedIn Handshake CareerShift 

What is an Elevator Pitch?

A memorable way to introduce yourself that briefly conveys the following:
“I Am” (Present)
“I Have Done” (Past)
“I Plan To” (Future)

 

Hello, I am (your name). I am a (major, year, school involvement, etc). I'm planning on using my skills and experience to (career goal). I have experience in/as (types of work skills/experience). My background includes (examples of your experience and/or memberships). My unique qualities are (describe qualities). [Bonus] Add your “why” statement. I am interested in learning more about how my skills can be an asset to you and your company.

I am a senior at SMU, graduating in the Fall/Spring of 20XX with an Advertising degree and a minor in Business. While at SMU, I have been active on campus, including serving as the Communications Director for Student Senate. I have also completed two internships at advertising agencies. I want to now transfer those skills into a corporate environment, utilizing my business classes as well as my advertising experiences, and that is why I am interested in the Marketing Specialist position at Frito Lay.
students on indoor football field for career fair

All Majors Career and Internship Fair

Southern Methodist University host two career fairs a year that is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni. This gives students a chance to network and gather information about top employers in the DFW area as well as across the country. The career fair host employers ready to hire students for internships, full time, and part time jobs.

Dos and Don'ts Career Fair Prep

  1. Research employers attending
    • Make a list of employers you are interested in talking to
    • Research these employers ahead of time
      • What do they do?
      • What open positions are currently listed on their website?
      • What makes them stand out to you?
    • Find employers and recruiters on LinkedIn and follow them
    • Make a list of questions to ask at the career fair
      • Make sure these questions cannot be easily found on the website
         
  2. Update Resume and LinkedIn
  3. Practice Elevator Pitch
    • Prepare a short introduction that you can use with employers to explain wo you are, your experience and skills, and what your professional goals are.
 

How to dress

  • Pick out an outfit that is business professional or business casual
  • Choose something you feel confident in
  • DO NOT wear the following: shorts, sweat pants, leggings, tank tops, jean, athleisure, anything with hole

What to bring and not to bring

  • Bring printed copies of your resume
  • Padfolio or folder for resumes and notes
  • Business cards if you have them
  • Try not to bring a backpack or other large personal items
  • Don't chew gum
     

  • Go to a few tables and practice your interactions with employers
  • Introduce yourself and allow them to introduce themselves
  • Ask any relevant questions you prepared ahead of time as well as about open positions and hiring timelines
  • Feel free to ask follow up questions if you come up with them at the event, but make sure to be courteous of other students also wanting to speak with the employer
  • Have your resume ready in case they ask for it
  • Ask for a business card before leaving and thank them

  • How would you describe a typical work day?
  • How do you see jobs in this field changing in the future?
  • How can I get experience in this field while in college?

  • Connect with employers and recruiters on LinkedIn, they may post important information about jobs and the company
  • Send a thank you email or LinkedIn message to the employers you talked to 
  • Make sure to mention that you spoke with them at the SMU All Majors Career Fair and let them know that you applied for one of their open positions

Schedule an appointment through Handshake with a career counselor to practice your interview skills.

Opportunities to Gain Experience

Explore careers and prepare for the job with hundreds of free job simulations designed by the worlds top employers with Forage.

Forage 

 

Gain skills and competencies by completing online classes through LinkedIn Learning.

LinkenIn Learning

Micro-Internships let you engage, assess, and hire college students and recent grads more effectively, on-demand, and without adding to your workload. Find micro-internships through Parker Dewey.

Parker Dewey

SMU Office of Information Technology (OIT) offers several options for Microsoft certifications and students can certify at all levels.

Certification with SMU OIT