Networking and Resume Dos and Don'ts

What to do when connecting with potential employers
February 16, 2024

At Career Services, our goal is to help your student navigate their career and professional development by connecting them with potential employers for internship and career opportunities. And as the spring Career Conference approaches, it’s time for your student to prepare!

Two things that will be important for your student to work on ahead of time are their resume and networking skills. Networking is simple. You learn about someone and what they do, and then they learn about you and what you do in return. This happens most commonly with people your student already knows, like their peers and professors.

As your student builds their professional connections, here are some simple networking and resume tips:

Networking Tips

Do…

  • Ask people you know to introduce you to others who may be able to provide you insight into internships or jobs of interest to you. Research the companies or individuals in advance if you can and prepare questions.
  • Be an active, engaged listener. Listen carefully to the advice and information others share and take notes as appropriate.
  • Networking is a two-way street. Be prepared to return the favor when someone in your network group asks for assistance.
  • Share copies of your resume. You want visibility within your field, so you want people to understand what you bring to the table.
  • Prepare and practice your elevator pitch. What’s your story? Include three things people must know about you to be memorable. Consider who you are talking to and be relatable. When creating your elevator pitch consider what, who, where, how and results.
  • Send a thank you note or email to new people you meet. It can make a lasting impression.
  • Stay in touch with your network periodically to keep a strong connection.

Don’t…

  • Use slang, poor grammar, be rude or unprofessional with communicating with others.
  • Forget about the alumni within your major. Reach out via LinkedIn to create connections and leverage their experiences within their industry.
  • Tell them your life story; you are dealing with busy people, so get right to the point.
  • Pass up opportunities to network.
  • Be shy or afraid to ask for what you need.
Students and employers at the Career Conference

Writing a Resume

Do…

  • Customize your resume for the job you are applying for. The person reviewing your resume wants to see a genuine interest in the position. Take time to share how your skills meet their requirements.
  • Use keywords and industry lingo and include them in your resume when highlighting your experiences and skills. Be relevant.
  • Write skill statements using the format ACTION VERB + SKILL + TASK/RESULT. Skill statements are essential and quantifying them takes your resume to the next level.
  • Set up an appointment with a Career Services counselor to review your resume.

Don’t…

  • Be long-winded. Including the name of your cat or how you won the ugly holiday sweater contest at your brother’s uncle’s work party won’t get you the interview.
  • Neglect spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. 
  • Bedazzle your resume. You want your resume to stand out based on your experiences and skills

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What to do when connecting with potential employers