Published on March 28, 2018
Updated on Sep. 17, 2018
Spring is in full swing and you know what that means, time to find a summer internship, part-time job, or even your first full-time job post-graduation! Whether you’ll be lounging on the beach, exploring a new city, or enjoying a stay-cation, spring break can the perfect time to network and apply for jobs.
You might have heard that networking is essential for making connections with employers, learning more about job opportunities, and landing the job. Networking can be done anywhere and can be as easy as logging into LinkedIn or making a phone call. Here are some practical tips to make the most out of your spring break.
- Practice You Elevator Pitch
Before you start networking, it’s important to know how to introduce yourself, what you want to say about your experiences, and how to talk about your goals. An elevator pitch is a snapshot of who you are and the perfect way to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question that everyone you network with will ask. Keep in mind that an elevator pitch should tell people what you do, how and why you do it, and what your next step is and should take 30 seconds or less. Once you determine what you want to say, don’t forget to practice!
- Connect on LinkedIn
Look people in fields you are considering or are interested in learning more about and connect with them. When connecting with people on LinkedIn, be sure to send them a message about who you are and why you would like to connect with them (this is another time when your elevator pitch will be useful!). After connecting, ask to arrange a time to discuss their experience and learn more about their position in the field.
- Set Up Informational Interviews
Regardless of where you’ll be for spring break, seek out people (friends of your parents, neighbors, local business owners, etc.) whose career path interests you and contact them via email or LinkedIn to introduce yourself and set up a time to talk. Before you meet or call in for your informational interview, be sure to research the person and their company and position. Have questions prepared for the interview; it’s a great way to let the other person know that you are dedicated to learning more. It is important to be clear about the information you’re hoping to gain and listen to the advice and feedback you receive. At the end of the meeting time, thank your contact for their time and willingness to meet and ask if they know of others who would be able to provide you with even more information.
Don’t let your spring break slip by without networking! Reach out to employers and individuals in the fields you’re interested and take the next step in finding your next job. Make sure to check out the other great resources for networking on the MU Career Center’s website: https://mizzoucareertools.campuscareerinnovations.com/