My name is Joshua Vito, I am one of the Directors of Corporate Relations this year for DECA U at Guelph. I am currently in my second year of the Public Management Program. Being a student and actively hunting for jobs is now more difficult than ever. Degrees are plentiful and are no longer a sure fire way to stand out in a crowd. Networking and more importantly building relationships with recruiters and employers alike is the best way to set yourself apart from competition in the labour market. Here are some tips I have on connecting and building relationships with employers:
1. Be Prepared
Take the time to know who will be at the networking event. Knowing information about your company not only lets you hone your interests and make efficient use of your time at the networking event, but it also allows you to engage in a deeper dialogue with the company representative and makes you stand out as a star candidate for a current or future position. Furthermore, make sure you have an updated resume that doesn’t just focus on your past position but shows the skills learned in that position that are valuable to an employer.
2. Team Experience
Recruiters are constantly looking for candidates that break the mold and bring unique skills to the table. In conversations, avoid using the pronoun I and focus on successful team experiences that showcase your leadership and initiative skills. The University of Guelph is unique in its business program because it stresses team work, use the Guelph difference to your advantage. Also be sure to highlight skills that are necessary for effective teamwork. Mention collaboration and communication and really focus on skills that give you an advantage in a modern and changing workplace.
3. Follow up
Make sure you follow up with recruiters. Remember that they may have seen dozens if not hundreds of people at that event. Use those business cards to your advantage. Send a quick email or LinkedIn message. Talk about how great it was to meet them, that you appreciate their time and ask them to keep you in mind for any future positions. The key to effective networking is building relationships that last. Remember the people you talk to at a networking event may not be your next employer or your next next employer but building bridges with a multitude of different people and many different groups keeps you competitive in a demanding job market.
Director of Corporate Relations
DECA U Guelph 2018-2019