5 Key Tools Needed to Network
- Business Cards
Business cards are ranked at the top of my networking checklist. The exchange of a business card is to be expected at the end of a conversation. This is an efficient way to give someone your contact information. When someone stumbles upon your card, they will remember you and the conversation you had.
If you are speaking with someone who you think will be able to help you or you are interested in staying in touch with, ask for his or her card! You can follow up with an email or call.
Vistaprint.com has many different business card templates to choose from, and you can even make your own. It is never too early to get your own business card, even if you don’t work yet!
Once you arrive at college, you will have to start over in terms of job and experience. Lets put it this way. You are 21 applying for an internship among 50 other applicants. The fact that you were on the honor roll when you were 15 (in high school) will carry zero weight for employers. With this being said, every year of college you should strive to add things that will develop your resume. This can be done by making good grades, applying for scholarships, volunteering, and being active on campus. Please make sure at the end of college you have developed more hobbies than drinking, hanging out with friends, or partying.
Resume templates can be found online. There are also resources on some campuses (career centers, classes, and writing centers) that will help you write your resume.
- Leather Resume Folder
A leather resume folder screams professional when you walk into a room. I purchased mine at my school store and it has my school logo engraved on the flap. These folders store your resume, business cards and have a notepad all in one. If you are attending an informational meeting, training, or any networking type event, bring this along. Sit in the front and take notes. This will show employers you are listening and engaged.
- Name Tag
Some events you attend will give you the stick on “Hello my name is” name tag. Be a step ahead and bring your own. I’m employed at Campus Dining at East Carolina and I have a work name tag. I wear this name tag to all events. It looks more professional and shows that I currently hold a job. Name tags can also be purchased online. Don’t forget the proper side a name tag should go on is the right side of your chest!
You know you have entered the real world when you purchase your first suit. I remember for my first interview I wore a conservative yellow skirt and the interviewer told me “the business world does not like color. Get a suit.” Looking the part is important when networking. When attending any event for a job, internship, information session, career fair, or interview, wear a suit.