Network Like a Boss

Written on 2/4 by Catherine Eifrig, Sophomore Strategic Communications-PR Major and Digital Media Production Minor

Networking. It seems simple enough: go to a conference and walk around and introduce yourself to make connections for what will hopefully be future employment. The Butler University Internship and Career Services, ICS, office calls it “ the key to finding internship and job opportunities.” Networking, in reality, is a very intimidating task. So how do you navigate your way through the crazy networking world? I have a few tips and tricks to make networking as easy as possible.

A tweet chat from PRSA said that one important thing to remember about networking is that it can happen anywhere, which is good and bad. For example, networking can happen while waiting in line, at a volunteer event, visiting a new place or most commonly at a professional meeting.

My first tip: treat networking like a mini-interview. When you go to make a move on a possible contact, make sure you introduce yourself and anyone who might be with you. Introductions are the first impression the person will have of you, so it is important to make a good initial impression.

Jobbankusa.com says to have a “positioning statement” in your head ready to explain who you are. The statement should be like a mini-verbal resume. Highlight your biggest accomplishments that the possible connection would be interested in. If you are head of finance club and you are trying to get a job in finance, mention finance club. This statement should explain “who you are professionally.”

My second tip: do not rely on business talk alone. You are trying to make an impression and while listing all the activities and achievements you have reached is great for a resume, it makes for a lousy conversation. Butler ICS says to “try to build relationships before you need them;” that way when you are out of a job or searching for one it is not a stretch to call the connection, ask how they are and then ask for help with a job. Have a conversation on a personal level.

My third tip is to stop being shy. Butler ICS gives the advice to practice conversation with random people who don’t relate to networking and possible future employment, such as a person in the same elevator as you. This way when the time comes to start a conversation with a complete stranger who does matter for future job opportunities, it will not be a scary idea.

My fourth tip is to utilize social media as another opportunity. Chances are you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and many other social media outlets. The first half of this tip: remove anything that you would not want your grandmother to see. If your grandmother wouldn’t want to see it do you think a future employer would want to?

The second half of this tip is to start early. Especially on LinkedIn, build a profile of yourself and keep it updated much like your resume. On Facebook talk up good things you do about your job. Did your blog post get published on your club’s website? Make a status about it. One thing to keep in mind though according to socialmediaexaminer.com is to not overly update, “communicate and educate. Don’t inundate.”

My fifth and last tip is to make sure you follow up with connections. Butler ICS recommends an e-mail within 48 hours of making the connection. Also, if you go to another professional gathering and see that a connection is there be sure to talk to them again and talk more about yourself and the other person. Add another detail about yourself when talking to your connection. Keep in mind to not only talk about possible jobs, make a personal connection.

Networking can be a strange, confusing and somewhat intimidating process. I hope these tips help you navigate your way at the next professional luncheon. If you keep these tips in mind, it’ll seem easier then it was before. Just remember not to spill your food all over the place when you introduce yourself.

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Using Social Media for Good

Written on 2/1/13 by Ali Hendricks

Social Media can be a scary thing.

I mean, you send your resume into a place you’ve dreamt about working your entire life, the human resources person looks at your resume, loves it, and then takes the obvious next step: he or she types your name into Twitter and Facebook and Flickr and Tumblr. That person is out to see who you really are.

Did someone tag you in pictures from last weekend? Did you put a Facebook status up about how your professor should relax because you only had two misspellings in that press release?

These thoughts can be daunting.

You might even be tempted to say you’re going to avoid all social media forever.

I’m here to tell you, you shouldn’t write virtual communication off because if you use it correctly, it can be super beneficial.

Let’s chat about using it for the good.

The social media outlet I find most beneficial for connecting with professionals is Twitter. Almost every Public Relations professional has Twitter and uses it frequently and it can be a great source for virtual networking. Twitter can be a great place to learn.

Here are my twitter suggestions:

      • Create a Twitter handle using your real name. Using your real name on Twitter makes you easier to find when you meet someone who’s interested in you for professional reasons or otherwise. Plus, it shows you aren’t afraid of who can see what you post and probably means you’re using it respectably. Mostly, it keeps you honest; It might help you hold your tongue errr … fingers.
      • Follow as many professionals as you can. Follow news outlets and businesses you’re interested in. This one seems obvious but Twitter gives you the opportunity to be “in the know” in ways never before possible and you should take advantage of that.
      • Sit back, relax & enjoy the chatter. There is so much to be learned when you’re just being quiet & observant. Is someone having a tweet-up? Are two professionals talking about an event you might be interested in? Be nosy, be observant and just listen.

The other social media piece I suggest you check out is blogging. Blogging really cultivates your creativity and helps you understand writing for the masses. When you blog, regardless of what you’re writing, you’re (hopefully) considering your audience and you’re keeping your brain juices flowing.

We all know that much of public relations is writing but we also know that the marketplace is full of writers, so if we want our words to stand out, we need to be more creative than the next guy.

If nothing else, blogging helps you stay fresh in writing and hopefully you’ll even have a few sample pieces to show off in your next interview.

And I saved the worst for last. Facebook.

You know, Facebook has its place, but I truly don’t think it’s a professional place. Using Facebook for the good includes discretion.

These are my Facebook suggestions: 

    • If your name is John Doe, don’t make your Facebook name John Donut. I see this all the time and I’m sure you do too; you know, people using fake names on Facebook? I say, don’t do it. First of all, that HR person can find you if you’re out there, doesn’t matter if you’ve made up some silly name for yourself or not. Secondly, just like with Twitter, having a fake name can be an excuse for yourself to not think twice (or maybe even once) about what you’re posting. It’s a bad idea, really.
    • Set your privacy settings so people can’t tag you in pictures without your approval. This is a thing now, you know? And it’s a thing you should use. Sure, you might check and double check what you’re posting but your friends might not have that same consideration for you and you don’t want to ruin your reputation because your friend posted a picture of you in poor taste.
    • Keep your display and cover photos classy. All your Facebook settings are as private as they’re getting, you’ve made your profile the profile of champions; no one is getting in and nothing is getting out. Well, that’s probably not a safe bet but even so, your display pictures and cover photos are always accessible so they should always be tasteful.

Our culture is social media crazy and that can be both a blessing and a curse but with these tips, you can make it more of the first and less of the second.

You can use social media for the good and you should.

Round Two: Rise Innovations to work with Fleishman-Hillard and Buffalo Wild Wings

This year, Rise Innovations is excited to have another opportunity to work with Fleishman-Hillard and Buffalo Wild Wings.  The campaign, BDunks, is an attempt to drive traffic to the Broad Ripple Buffalo Wild Wings for the rest of the basketball season.
Join the fun and  watch the games at Buffalo Wild Wings.  There will be plenty of opportunities for fun, food and prizes!
Check out http://bdunks11.wordpress.com/ for more information.  Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter @BDunks11 and like the campaign, BDunks, on Facebook.

Want to be on E-Board?

It seems a little early, but we are already starting to think about the 2011-2012 PRSSA executive board. We will slate nominations for the new eboard during the March 22 meeting and the new E-Board will be announced at the April 12 meeting. There will be more information to come on how eboard members are selected. If you have any interest at all in being on E-Board and getting more involved in PRSSA, don’t’ hesitate to talk to any member of the E-Board.


National Assembly…We need a delegate!

Each spring, PRSSA hosts National Assembly to vote in the new National Committee and society bylaws.  Each chapter is requested to send one delegate who will represent the chapter during voting.  This year’s National Assembly will be in Seattle March 31 to April 2.  As a delegate your hotel room and registration is covered by PRSSA.  Even if you are not interested in being a delegate, other members can attend as there are several other opportunities that weekend.  If you are interested in representing Butler, the deadline to register is February 21.


J-School newsletter recognizes Butler PRSSA’s accomplishments

Butler University’s Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism recognized PRSSA in its recent fall newsletter.  The newsletter informs readers of Rise Innovations’ efforts with the Barefoot for Barefeet Campaign and the success of the Buffalo Wild Wings Campaign, as well as numerous accomplishments of other organizations in the school.

With the success of so many students in the Journalism Department, Butler PRSSA is definitely in good company!

Click here to check out the fall newsletter and learn more about the great accomplishments of Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism students.

Samaritan’s Feet founder to speak at Butler

Hear Manny’s story…

This is something you do not want to miss.

The founder of Samaritan’s Feet, Emmanuel Ohonme, will be speaking in the GH108 on Wednesday Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

To learn more about Emmanuel and Samaritan’s Feet, check out their Website.

http://www.samaritansfeet.org/

For more information on Manny and his story go to http://www.samaritansfeet.org/page/founder (Photo credit from Samaritan’s Feet)