By Olivia Falcone
This time of year can be stressful for public relations students. The hunt for summer internships is in full swing and networking events for students are a big part of it. Making sure you’re prepared for the next big internship fair or networking event is key to getting that dream position or suitable next experience to excel in your future career.
- Do Your Research
It’s always a good idea to show up to a networking event knowing what employers will be attending. Make sure to look up a list of whose going and what their company does. Aimlessly walking up to tables and asking what they do isn’t going to reflect well. Before going to an event make sure you know what companies you want to approach, what they specifically do, what clients they work with, and what types of opportunities they have for students. You can never be too prepared.
- Plan Your Outfit
The last thing you need to be worrying about is your outfit on the day of an event. By picking something that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and professionally makes a good impression on the companies you will be speaking to. Having a clean- cut look can put you one step ahead and represent the right message about yourself you want to send to employers. Make sure to have your outfit hung up or layed out in a space where it is a guaranteed to be wrinkle free. As some may say, “If you look good then you feel good”.
- Be prepared to talk about yourself and experiences
Don’t expect businesses to do all the talking. Be a tentative listener and be able to relate the conversation to your own life and experiences pertaining to the position. You want to be able to stand out in a crowd and show possible employers that you have the capabilities able to exceed their expectations for the desired position. It is also important to express your interest in the company, so have questions prepared that show you have done your research for the job. Being able to talk about yourself will also make you stick out in a crowd of hundreds of students. Also when writing a follow-up email, talking about your conversation with them will help them will help whoever remember who you are.
- Look Over Your Resume
This may seem a bit obvious but definitely necessary. Freshening up and looking over your resume is very important to attending job fairs. Have others read over it or consider submitting your work to careers services at your school in order to be able to present yourself well on paper. Keep in mind that you are probably going to be one of many students attending these networking events, having a mistake on your resume is that wrong way to stand out in a crowd. Remember to bring several copies of your resume as well just in case you speak with more than one person at each table.
- Take Notes
Even if you don’t think you’ll end up getting the internship that might be out of your expertise, write down what the qualifications that may be for that certain job position so you can take the next few months or year to obtain those certain skills. For example, if you’re a freshman and have little experience on your resume, it’s never a bad idea to bring your resume to the fair and ask employers what you can do to get that future internship. Writing down tips from employers and keeping in mind what can be done to grow your professional life is always a smart and proactive approach.