Connect – Bridging Classroom to Career

Create Your Brand and Network

It’s time to apply the skills and career competencies built from gained experiences. Begin building your brand and professional network today to enjoy the journey and opportunities ahead.

Networking doesn’t have to be complex: it’s connecting with professionals and maintaining relationships with a community of colleagues inside and outside of your industry. Learning how to meaningfully connect with others inside and outside of an organization is one of the most effective skills for career development and advancement.

Why Networking Matters

Making targeted connections is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep in mind that professional relationships often assist you in getting your foot in the door of your next career advancement.

Employment opportunities are often found through professional connections. First impressions count in all your interactions, as does consistency in one’s “professional brand.” By following the tips in this section, you can thoughtfully tell your story, build your brand, and make intentional connections to cultivate sincere professional relationships.

Get Ready to Introduce Yourself

Start somewhere easy: introduce yourself! Prepare your introduction (sometimes known as an “elevator pitch”) to share your story. It’s important to create a go-to introduction: you never know when you’ll meet someone who could benefit you in your future professional life. 

Introduce Yourself

Professional Introduction

Share the following:

  • Who you are. 
  • Your goal or career direction. 
  • What makes you distinctive. 
  • Close with an open-ended question. 

Handshake and LinkedIn Profiles

Online networking is growing fast! Personal profiles on platforms like Handshake and LinkedIn are the next evolution of the resume. Instead of just including the highlights, personal profiles have room to hold ALL your experiences.

Handshake Profile Checklist

LinkedIn Profile Checklist

Dress for Success

For interviews and networking events, a general guideline is to dress to a level above what the day-to-day company culture may be. There are many interpretations on clothing and what (if any) categories they fall into. Outfit combinations and certain apparel items may be organized differently based on your region, climate and event.

Four common dress categories:

  • Casual 
  • Business casual 
  • Business professional 
  • Formal 

If you are unsure what to wear, business casual is typically a safe bet for the Twin Ports area. For more info, check out the dress for success guide. Find FREE professional clothing in our Career Closet.

Keep in mind:

  • Personal hygiene considerations: shower, trim/style nails, style hair with intention. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. 
  • Ensure the entire outfit is in good condition:  
    • Clean 
    • Free of tears or holes 
    • Wrinkle-free 
    • Minimal pilling 
    • Free of pet hair 
    • Comfortable fit with good range of motion 

Schedule a meeting with a Career Development Manager at any point throughout your voyage via Handshake.