Following from my last post about why you should stop applying for graduate programs, this post will focus on the creative ways you can instead employ to achieve far better results than graduate program placements.
For starters, there are various networking events that you must attend especially the ones held by Engineers Australia and other professional organizations in your field.
These are perfect places to meet new people and expand your professional network. However, there are still quite a lot of people at these events, and it is hard to catch the attention of people you need to talk to.
So what do you do?
You start by being different. I will share one of the many ways you can achieve this.
Allow me to digress for a little bit.
A very important aspect of job hunting is having an excellent online presence so you can be easily spotted. The more easily people can find information about you online the more quickly they will trust you.
Similarly, you also have to ensure that your personal information that you don’t want to share, stays private. Only share what the potential employer would find relevant and helpful. So, your pictures while you were skinny dipping with your friends need not surface online.
Here is how you should go about creating a sensational online presence for yourself:
I am assuming you have read my earlier blog posts and have already started blogging and have created a killer LinkedIn profile. Don’t forget to interconnect these profiles to get even more exposure and contacts.
Visit About.me and create a page for yourself using the samples shown for free. It is a very impressive tool and I don’t want to talk about it because that will just spoil the fun you can have with it. Again, connect this page to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media profiles that you may have. Showcase yourself!
The next step is to showcase your achievements; both big and small through Brag.me. Once again you should visit their website and find out how amazing they are. It’s like having your sexy online resume for everyone to view.
Every time you send an email to a potential employer or to someone you are trying to network with, you should put down the links to the profiles mentioned above and give them a chance to explore more about you online. This will make you look like a superstar as compared to a thousand other boring candidates whose emails end with:
“I have already bored you with big words and meaningless adjectives on what I want from your company because I have no regard for what you want.
Please find here attached a copy of my resume in black and white ink that you may never read.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
How does all this tie into your networking plan?
Let me illustrate it with a little story about Penguin Magic. It’s a company that has various online videos on magic tricks. Their artists go out on the street of Las Vegas and perform tricks on people in the street.
Their tricks are so amazing that people often scream in surprise. And then the same people immediately ask “How did you do that”?
Simple. We as humans are all curious human beings. The more you can pique our curiosity, the more attention we will give you. Use this principle to amaze people and you will automatically succeed. How does this relate to you?
Instead of handing out copies of your resume or talking about your accomplishments which won’t be of any interest to your listeners, get at least 10 business cards printed, to hand out to people.
Put your name on top and your title (like civil engineering aficionado) then put down the links to your LinkedIn, About.me, and Brag.me profiles. That’s it. Simple and unique. This will also help you in striking conversations with people because every time they will see something remarkable like your business card, they will also want to know how to do it.
Experimentation is the only way to not be a cow in a herd or to be a purple cow at least (if you get stuck in the herd).