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Building Connections

Networking Like a Pro:

Building relationships and connections that will allow you to continue developing your talents while meeting with people who have already gained first-hand experience of what the work environment looks like in your chosen field can help you gain a better grasp of how you could use your skills, interests, and values within the field! 

Below are tips on how to identify and reach out to potential connections!

 

Identifying a Possible Connection:

How can you tell if a connection will be worth while before putting in the effort of reaching out? Honestly, there's not necessarily a bad connection to make- any conversation you have can teach you something about where you want to go and who you want to meet, or where you don't want to go and what experiences you're not looking for at the current time. Nevertheless, sorting through all of the possible connections can be daunting! Here are a few tips:

  • Research people working within companies or job-titles of interest on social media- look at our LinkedIn tips below to get started
  • Start with who you know! Be vocal with your current connections such as friends, family members, and professors, about what you're looking for and the type of people you're interested in meeting- you never know who may have a connection!
  • Consider your first impression, what two traits do you think are most important in a potential connection or mentor? Does the person you're interested in have these qualities?
  • Attend events specifically for networking such as "MeetUp" groups, Career & Job fairs, or social events!
  • Explain your ideal target connection- tell a contact who your ideal connection would look like and ask them if they know anyone who fits that. Even if they're not the ideal contact, they may be able to connect to you to someone who is!
  • Create a list of questions you're interested in learning about someone/their experience based on what is most important for you to gain from a new connection
  • Identify ways you bring value to others- this can range from reviewing your strengths and skills, to exploring how your experiences align with the needs of the industry in general, and anything else that makes you stand out as you begin connecting with others.

Reaching out:

  • Create your own Elevator Pitch!
  • Identify how you want to reach out (email, in-person, phone call, LinkedIn, etc.), and adapt your elevator pitch for that platform!
  • Come into the conversation with genuineness and curiosity- what do you want to get to know about the other person? Ask meaningful questions to get them talking!
  • Aim to set a time to connect with the person one-on-one: get 30 minutes to an hour of their time scheduled so that you can really have a chance to ask those questions and generate a conversation

Building and Sustaining the Relationship:

  • Have an informational interview with your new connection
    • A few example questions to consider:
      • What drew you to work in this industry?
      • What is your favorite part of your job and why?
      • What is the most challenging part about your job?
      • What would you recommend that someone new to the industry do to be successful?
  • Use gratitude! Be thankful- and express it to your connection- after each interaction! Politeness goes a long way!
  • Tune up your follow-ups and make them part of your routine- once you've made a strong first impression, touch base with the person every month or two to maintain the relationship.
    • If you set goals with the connection, make sure you follow up with them!
  • Follow-Ups can be something as quick as a message to check in "How are you doing?" or sharing a resource you've found such as an article you found interesting. This lets the person know you value their connection and are thinking of them, and lessens a chance of awkwardness generated if you only reach out when you need something
  • You can't control when people see a great opportunity, but you can make sure they think of you first by maintaining the relationship!

Tips for using LinkedIn:

  • Writing a Summary:
    • Your summary is your opportunity to give potential connections a snapshot of who you are, what you value in your career, and how you enact these values/how you’re moving towards your goals.
    • Things I want to include in my summary:

 

  • Experiences to Include:
    • You can include any experiences you think have been important in developing who you are and what skills you can bring in to a job
    • When talking about your experiences, think about how your past experiences have been helpful in helping you reach your next job. (What skills did you use that will be helpful in this next position?)

  Skills I have:                    Where I’ve Used them:                Types of Skills My Next Position Wants:

 

  • Alumni Function:
    • Search and select “Community College of Aurora”
      • Click the “See Alumni” button
      • Use the filters or type in your own to find individuals you might want to connect with- this way, you already have at least one thing in common!
  • What do I say when I make connections?
    • Keep it open, you’re not just asking for jobs, you’re looking for opportunities to learn about the individual, their job/company, what their career path looked like to get to where they are
    • Be polite, and also recognize that you also have value in all of your own experiences and perspectives- find something to connect about

Need help finding other volunteer opportunities? Meet with a career counselor or advisor to brainstorm potential volunteer opportunities.

Contact Us:

(303) 360-4929 | Schedule in Navigate

CareerServices.CCA@CCAurora.edu

16000 E CentreTech Pkwy. Aurora, CO 80011

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