Network building is essential to professional development for students. More so it can take place in a variety of ways. However, many students have a narrow definition of networking and are often intimidated by the idea. A key aspect of career coaching is helping students understand the myriad of ways networking can take place and how to approach it in small measurable steps.
A crucial part of building market intelligence and learning how to increase a students competitive advantage comes from networking. More so, being able to network themselves not only empowers them to take ownership of their career development journey but helps them get comfortable talking about themselves and their interests. Network building is a long term practice that yields amazing results so it is always best if students starts early. The resource attached below provides a guide on how to help students do this. It details
How to coach students through the networking process
Help students understand informational interviews
Guide students on how to tap into their existing network and build new ones
For many students preparing for an interview is the most nerve-wracking part of the job/internship application process. The only way to overcome these nerves is by simulating a similar environment t with people who understand the opportunity description. This is done through mock interviews. While students can research common questions, prepare responses and practice in the mirror several times, practicing with another person and receiving critical feedback is essential to adequately prepare for an interview. Thus when giving mock interviews, it is important to know the right questions to ask, what to look for in assessing the students answer and how to give feedback that helps the student move forward in their preparation. For details on how to do these, download the resource below .
Cover Letters are an application document that require students to describe their fit with and interest in the organization they are applying to. They are typically read after the resume has been examined and help to add nuance to each candidates relevant experiences. The role of the cover letter is often underestimated but it could be the determining factor when companies have to decide between 2 equally strong resumes.
In reviewing a student’s cover letter, the goal is to ensure that the student clearly and effectively communicate a compelling reason for their interest in the role/opportunity and a few core reasons why they would be a good fit and/or add value to the organization. The resource attached below provides:
The fundamental elements that need to be communicated in a cover letter
How to guide a student to reflect and identify compelling content for their cover letter
A cover letter template you can use to provide a measurable assessment of a students cover letter
An informational interview is a meeting between someone who wants to learn more about an industry or profession and someone who is in that field. When exploring potential career interests, in your early university years, informational interviews are a great way to learn more about different career options. Informational interviews are also foundational to network building because they provide an opportunity to initiate a conversation with a professional contact. These conversations can often lead to long standing relationships that could help students gain access to career building opportunities and understand how to attain success in their fields of interest.
As a student, you may be overwhelmed with concerns about what you can bring to the table in this type of interaction and worried about making a first impression. At this stage, your greatest asset is your curiosity and willingness to learn. Thus the best way to approach such conversations is by leaning towards that. Refer to the informational interview fact sheet attached below for a guide on how to:
Set up informational interviews with people in and out of your network
Writing compelling messages and emails
Prepare for and follow up after an informational interview