Raise your hand if you like networking!
I’m guessing you didn’t raise your hand. Perhaps because you dislike networking, or perhaps because you felt like it would be weird to raise your hand at your computer.
It’s true that networking can be intimidating, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! U of T’s Career Information Days (CID) offer a great networking opportunity, where you can meet employers and students and explore all sorts of career options.
CID is U of T’s largest annual career fair for students. They two day event is held at the Exam Centre and allows current students and recent graduates from all three campuses to meet with employers from over 100 organizations.
The fair is a place to scout potential job opportunities, but it’s also a great event to explore different possible careers and practice your networking skills. If you’ve got the networking jitters, don’t fear – here are five tips to get you ready to go to CID:
1. Come prepared. Bring several copies of your up-to-date resume, a business card (if you have one – don’t worry if you don’t, you can always get them printed later on!), a notebook and pen, and a tote bag (for pamphlets and business card you pick up). Dress in business casual (no need to suit up!).
2. Make a script. It’s good to have a few sentences about who you are, what you’re studying, and your career interests and goals ready to go. Once you ease into the event, conversation will come more naturally, but it’s best to have a few lines ready to fall back on.
3. Do some research. Look at the list of companies that are going to the event, which you can access once you’ve registered for the event through the Career Learning Network, and do some googling of the ones you’re interested in. It’s great to prepare a question or have some specific comments ready to show employers that you’re interested in their company.
4. Prep with Career Centre events. On September 14 and 15 before the CID, you can attend workshops to fix up your resume and learn networking tips and tricks! Check out the Career Learning Network for more details.
5. Take a deep breath! Go into the event with an open mind and a positive attitude. Employers will be happy to talk to you if are eager and excited, so just relax and enjoy yourself. If it would make you more comfortable, bring a friend and explore the fair together. Be adventurous and check out companies you haven’t heard of or wouldn’t picture yourself working at! Take advantage of the opportunity to shop around.
Career Information days take place on September 16 and 17 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Exam Centre. Click here for more information and to register.
Got questions about CID? Need some networking tips? Join the conversation on Twitter at @lifeatuoft or chat with me in the comments below.