SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
I am sure you have heard it many times before but I am going to say it again, networking pays-figuratively and literally. Networking is much more than attending short sessions, it is a process of building relationships and demonstrating your work ethic and abilities through volunteering, internships, and externships and of course the occasional strategic coffee invitations. No, I’m not this super brilliant career coach with an epiphany, but I did hear this advice from the expert panelists at the Starr Career Development Center’s 7th Annual Career Weeks Series Marketing and Advertising panel.
I will admit that networking isn’t one of the easiest things to do; I too have had those internal fights where my mind says “go be amazing” but my feet, the resilient naysayers disable me and refuse to move. Crippled by fear, I have lost many great opportunities, but thankfully there is a remedy. Jessalin Lam, Director of Marketing and Sales of SoundView suggested practicing a personal pitch that sells you. You are your brand; you know who you are, what you want and what you have to offer. Decide what you want to say and practice, practice and then be amazing. Ms. Lam also suggested that you keep the pitch concise and personal, long and generic pitches are no longer trendy, in fact I don’t think they ever were.
Proactive vs. Reactive
Now that you have got the pitch down, you need to be proactive in your approach. Scott Fogel Consumer Strategist Insight and Strategy at Initiative suggested job seekers should find hiring managers or HR representatives of companies they are interested on LinkedIn and invite them to coffee. Sounds absolutely bizarre but it is sheer genius and has worked for him and many others. This move sends the message that you are proactive and bold, characteristics many of the panelists say they look for in new hires. You can even go further Chaim Shapiro, President at Zorach Consulting and follower of BaruchSCDC on Twitter, suggested in the live tweet discussion “Identify on #LinkedIn, engage on Twitter and seal over coffee.” Technology is your friend, just don’t be creepy.
Resume and Your Brand
As a brand consistency is important. Your résumé represents you, pay attention to every detail. April Boykin, Associate Generalist HR Havas Health emphasized that the font, layout, spelling and other formatting features of your resume is just as important as what it says, be careful and spend the extra time to read and reread, prevent your résumé from becoming easily trashed. Ultimately, the advice of the panelists was timely and applicable. One of the students attending, Gai reached out on Twitter calling the event inspirational, I agree.
Picture above from L-R: April Boykin, Associate Generalist, HR, Havas Health, Jessalin Lam, Director of Marketing and Sales at SoundView Broadcasting LLC, Helen Lee, Account Director at Google, Scott Fogel, Consumer Strategist, Insight and Strategy at Initiative, Jennifer Ocean, Global Marketing Director, Godiva Chocolatier