Let's be real, networking is probably not the first thing that is on your mind. You might be trying to get through some boring online lectures without getting distracted while being at home but trust me, networking is an essential. The question is where do you begin? Networking does not necessarily mean you have to suit up and spatter industry jargons to impress industry professionals but instead here are simple networking tips to help get you started!
Build Networking into Your Everyday Routine!
If you are intimidated by the idea of talking to strangers you are not alone! If you try and build some little habits into your daily routine, it can help you in the long-term to build a powerful network that you can surely rely on. Start by communicating with your professors and classmates. Now I know you will tell me that everything is online and it just feels weird to randomly have a chat with a stranger in an online class, but it is absolutely okay to do that because chances are they probably feel the same way too. So just go on and give it a shot because sometimes these are the people that will help you when it comes to job hunting.
Networking with professors can help you as they are already aware of the environment and surely know a lot of people working in the industry. By talking to your professors, it keeps your name in the back of their minds when any opportunities come regarding job offers from prospective employers.
Get Involved On-Campus.
Getting involved on campus, first of all, builds you a strong resume. You meet different people and make some new friends. Not only you will meet your fellow ridgebacks, but you will also have the opportunity to network with speakers, advisors and mentors. There are a ton of clubs and societies on campus that can help you do that. Sign up for campus email newsletters, try to find clubs on social media and keep an eye on when they hire and what are their requirements for the role. If you feel you are fit for the role, go, and have a shot at it.
Develop Your Online Presence.
If the idea of meeting people and having to talk to them and network makes you a little nervous then do not worry! Everything is online nowadays, and you can network just by a couple clicks on your computer. If you have not created a LinkedIn profile already, you do not want to waste anymore of your time in doing so. You can also start an online portfolio or make a website regarding your industry or niche. You can also look up for your school’s alumni group on social media. Making connections online can be an effective networking strategy. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites offer great ways to learn insider information about your career path and connect with individuals and professional associations. Maintaining an active profile on these sites will keep you up to date with the most current information about the field, including hiring trends and job leads. It is important to be aware of your online presence while using online networking tools.
Be Open to New Connections.
A networking connection could happen anywhere. It can be on a bus stand or in the cafeteria of your school. Networking does not mean the greater number of connections you have the stronger your network is. What matters is your connections must be genuine enough. You can have a small network, but it can be strong if that small group is authentic. There is no point in having an endless number of people in your network who do not even know you and are not going to be of any help to you. Take interest in who you are talking to, who they are and what they do.
Maintain Your Networks.
It is far easier to make connections than maintaining them. Maintaining your network will require hard work for which you will have to invest your time and have a small talk with them. Small talk does not necessarily mean you have to be fake with them. You can do the exact opposite and your connections will appreciate it. Being genuine and being yourself is the key to make an image of yourself in someone’s head.
Now that you understand the benefits of networking, go ahead and get out there! If you are nervous or shy, just know this, It only requires some practice and time. The sooner you start networking, the better your chances are of connecting with someone who can help give you a little job-search boost later.
BUSINESS DRESS GUIDE
The highest level of attire for a formal setting
Events: Job interviews, client meetings, work presentations, award ceremonies, holiday parties
A suit or suit dress (in black, navy, brown, or gray)
Blouse or buttoned shirt (in white or light blue)
dress shoes (in brown or black)
Neutral coloured pantyhose when wearing a skirt or dress
Socks matching the tone of your suit
BLACK TIE EVENT
A formal event that usually take place in the evening or night-time
Events: evening weddings, award ceremonies, galas, charity balls
Floor-length gowns (in dark colours like black, navy, brown)
Dressy cocktail dresses (a classic little black dress, or knee-length dress in silk or satin)
A code of dress that blends traditional business wear with a more relaxed style yet still professional
Events: meetings, interviews, first day at new job
Slacks, khaki pants, or knee-length skirts
Blouses, sweaters, button-downs, or polo shirts
Knee length dresses
Cardigans, blazers, jackets
Closed-toed shoes such as loafers, pumps, flats, or boots
Simple professional accessories like scarves, belts, or jewelry
Polished yet relaxed attire, attire that appears elegant but is also comfortable and tailored to the occasion
Events: workplaces, restaurants, evening networking, business cocktail parties
Pants, skirt, tailored shorts, or smart jeans
White button-up for summer, or a stylish sweater for winter
Neutral coloured dress with a shirt or wrap design
Blazer and chic but laidback accessories
There are various helpful workshops held by the career center at Ontario Tech to help you be successful in landing the job you want. Workshops include virtual interview skills, virtual networking, building resumes and cover letters, one-on-one resume and cover letter editing, virtual LinkedIn profile development, career chats, and much more!
Virtual Interview Skills Workshops
Get yourself prepared for your next job interview. Know what to expect from the interview and what possible questions an interviewer might ask. Gain interview skills by practicing with peers in breakout rooms and get tips from the workshop leaders. Learn how to act in an interview and what to do after your interview is over so you can leave the best impression!
Virtual Networking Workshops
Networking is very important as it is fundamental for building and maintaining professional connections with professional individuals who can lead you to career opportunities in the future. However, our world going online, networking became virtual. But don’t worry, you can gain all the skills you need to perfect your next networking event! Learn everything you need to excel at virtual networking. From tips about what you should talk about to the angle, you should look at the camera.
Virtual Resume and Cover Letter Workshops
Whether you would like to improve your resume and cover letter or have no idea where to start, this workshop will help you strengthen your resume and cover letter to make you stand out for your next job application. Learn the components of a resume and the different structures to best fit your next application.
One-on-one Resume and Cover Letter Editing
Book one-on-one sessions with experts at the career center to help you edit your resume and cover letter to improve them and have them become excellent quality to ensure you land your dream job.
Virtual LinkedIn Profile Development Workshop
LinkedIn is the biggest social media platform for professional networking. Your LinkedIn profile could make you an ultimate candidate for an online recruiter. This LinkedIn profile development workshop will help you elevate your profile. You will learn the benefits of having a good LinkedIn profile, as well as tips on how to create, edit, and update your profile. Whether you are already on LinkedIn or want to start an account, you can benefit from the workshop and learn how to connect with potential employers!
Career chats offer you the opportunity to network with employers. You can meet representatives and ask them career-related questions or job search advice!
How to sign up?
To sign up for the workshops, you will need to head to Ontario Tech’s Student Life Portal and register under the ‘Events and Workshops’ tab. Workshops are held on various dates, choose the time that works best for your schedule and get going with building your skills!
RSM $5000 Scholarship Opportunity
RSM has launched a scholarship in which you will have the opportunity to receive one of 4 scholarships worth $5,000!
Open to students two years away from graduation
Pursuing a bachelor's degree in either business or technology
Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
Legal resident of Canada
How to Apply:
To apply, you must create a quick video and complete a short application. Click here to apply
Deadline: February 28th ,2021 11:59pm
LOCAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESOURCES
The following are great resources to help you with your entrepreneurship journey!