Career Decision Making Tips for College Graduates 

Career decision-making is a complex and lifelong process. Statistics indicate that the average worker will change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. In today’s fluid and rapidly changing workplace, those statistics are expected to increase over time. Hence, the best career decisions are informed career decisions. Being informed means entering into a process of self-assessment (looking at yourself) and career exploration (researching careers) to find the best match.

Many career professionals view career decision-making as similar to putting together pieces of a puzzle to form a clear picture of what those pieces represent. Many also agree that the primary puzzle pieces in the career process are your interests, personality, values, and skills. Each piece needs to be explored carefully and thoroughly on its own, and then looked at in terms of its interrelationship with the other pieces in forming a picture that is clear and understandable, such as a picture of “who you are” in terms of your career aspirations.

Here are four considerations of career decision making that college graduates should pay attention to.  

Interests 

Interests are those activities in which you like to spend most of your time and from which you gain pleasure. John Holland, a famous career theorist, believed that all of us fall into one or more of six broad interest areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. He also believed that all work environments could be classified into the same six areas. So if you can identify your interest areas, you can readily identify work environments (and careers) that might match. The Strong Interest Inventory, a formal career assessment based on Holland’s work, is a valid and reliable tool that can help you make this match. 

See also: 7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job

Personality 

Personality is the specific way in which you think and act, that makes it very complex. One aspect of personality is what’s called your “clarity of preferences,” or your tendency to be one way or the other. Research showed that personality is very closely connected to career choice, as people of certain personality types are attracted to certain types of careers.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a formal career assessment, is another valid and reliable tool in the self-assessment process. With the MBTI there are sixteen different personality types. Each type is considered to be good as they are simply different. By taking the assessment you will find out your type, and thus the clarity of your preferences. You will then discover what kinds of careers your type is attracted to. 

Values 

Values are the principles or standards that drive your decisions, actions and behaviours. It is the ideals that guide and give meaning to your life and work. We all have a specific set of core values that serve as our “compass” in our personal and professional lives.

A career consultant, Ed Hallenbeck, has developed “values inventory.” It is a list of common values; some of which might resonate with you. The values inventory can be found as a separate career handout. It will help you identify values that are important to you, and thus characteristics that are important to you in careers and work environments. 

Skills 

Skills are the abilities we use to produce results in the things we do and the things we believe we do well. These things (or skills) come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to: natural ability and aptitudes, formal education, training/professional development, work experiences, volunteer service and leisure activities.

Your skills can be “technical”, such as management, accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, engineering or teaching. They also could be “soft” skills like time management, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, multi-tasking or working well in groups.

Skills can also be classified into motivated and unmotivated. Motivated skills are those things we do well, and we truly enjoy doing. Unmotivated skills are those things we do well, but really have no interest in doing.

In this area, Ed Hallenbeck developed a “motivated skills inventory.” It is a list of common skills. The motivated skills inventory can be found as a separate career handout. It will help you identify those things in which you have confidence in doing (and enjoy doing). By having an inventory of your motivated skills, you can then identify careers where those skills are both needed and valued.

Read also: How to Turn The Tide When Interview Goes Wrong

7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job 

Hard skills are defined as specific knowledge and abilities that are learned through education or training. Given that many industries and professions have a specific list of abilities that are necessary to properly perform the job, hard skills can also be thought of as job-specific skills.

Putting the right hard skills on your resume is essential. Without hard skills, landing an interview or even getting passed on applicant tracking systems becomes almost impossible. Hence, when building your resume or preparing for an interview, make sure you have a list of hard skills. Consider incorporating some of the examples compiled below as these hard skills are essential in today’s tech world. 

1- Computer technology 

Many companies require candidates to apply for jobs using technology-based platforms. Therefore, it is vital to at least possess a basic grasp of computer technology. Show your prospective employers that you are prepared to embrace the technologies needed to perform your job effectively by mastering these important technology-related hard skills: 

  • Microsoft office suite 
  • Social media 
  • HTML 
  • Analytics 
  • Pivot tables 

2- Data analysis 

Our world is driven by data and data analysis skills have become highly valued across a wide variety of industries. The ability to analyse data and use that information for the benefit of your company is extremely useful. Here are data analysis areas that you can learn: 

  • Data mining
  • Data presentation 
  • Resource management 
  • Data engineering 
  • Database management 
  • Any use of data to explore a problem or make a decision 

See also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

3- Marketing 

Personal brand or employer brand, both need good marketing strategy. The ability to convince customers, clients, or prospective employers will always help you in your world of work. After all, success in marketing directly correlates to an increase in revenue. There are a number of hard marketing skills that have become incredibly sought after, as follows: 

  • Search engine optimisation 
  • Search engine marketing 
  • Marketing campaign management 
  • Google analytics 
  • Content management systems, such as WordPress

4- Design 

While being artistically talented is a natural ability, there are certain design elements and tools  that must be learned through education or training. As technology has advanced, consumer’s standards for design aesthetics have also increased. Not to mention, having design skills will help you land a job easily. Here are some of examples of the hard design skills most desired by employers: 

  • User interface design 
  • User experience design 
  • Adobe creative suite, such as Photoshop and InDesign
  • Digital product design software, such as InVision and Zeppelin 

5- Cloud computing 

As network and internet technology has advanced, more and more businesses have turned to cloud computing as a convenient data storage and management solution. This means that people who have the skills to build and manage cloud networks are in high demand. Following is some of cloud computing skills: 

  • Cloud architecture 
  • Storage and data management 
  • Networking communication 
  • Cloud middleware technologies 
  • Cloud applications, such as JSON, Rest, and RPC 

6- Mobile and web development 

New websites are created every second and thousands of mobile apps are released per day. All of these websites and apps can only be created by people with the necessary mobile and web development skills. Here are examples of mobile and web development skills you can master: 

  • Software revision control systems 
  • Android development 
  • iOS app development 
  • Web architecture and development framework 
  • Angular and node apps 

7- Network structure and security 

Cyberattacks have become a hot topic during pandemic and there is an increased need for cybersecurity experts from time to time. IT professionals who have the skills to protect data are in higher demand than ever before. Being a company’s data shield is no easy feat, so you need to learn some of the following hard skills: 

  • Encryption algorithms 
  • Authentication systems 
  • Risk assessment 
  • Cryptography 
  • Virtual and host-based firewalls

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters

Top 5 Careers to Consider for Recent College Graduates 

Hi grads, are you feeling stuck in your journey to find that first “real” job? 

Stepping out of college into the real world has never been easy. Fortunately, many college graduates are now being aided with basic work applications with training, apprenticeship, or internship during their college lives. With strong background and certification, getting into real work of work might become easier. Especially today, the world is in strong hiring mode so there will be a lot of opportunity to try. 

Here are 10 best entry-level jobs for recent college graduates based on a LinkedIn survey. LinkedIn has analysed its data on user-profiles and job openings to present, among other things, the list of the most popular jobs for new grads. 

  1. Healthcare 

Healthcare careers are part of the fastest growing industry for job growth and development in the world. This trend is expected to continue over the next decade, especially due to the current Covid-19 situation. Projections from the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics show that healthcare jobs are expected to increase by 18 percent from 2016 through 2026, meaning that the industry will add about 2.4 million new healthcare jobs. 

The top medical careers in demand include: 

  • physicians, 
  • registered nurses, 
  • physical therapists, 
  • respiratory therapists, 
  • home health aides, 
  • medical assistant, 
  • physician assistant, 
  • healthcare information technologist, and
  • pharmacy technician. 

See also: Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation 

  1. Retail 

While many retailers have been forced to make cuts to their workforce due to temporary or permanent closures caused by the pandemic, other retail companies are hiring thousands of workers to meet increased consumer demand.  According to LinkedIn, there are approximately 170K+ open entry-level jobs and 5K+ open internships in retail industries. 

  1. Software and IT services 

As companies scramble to adapt to a tight IT job market, they are doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that means getting a head start in filling their most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions. 

  1. Manufacturing 

It’s no secret that the manufacturing sector has a major impact on the world’s economy. For example, some companies and educational institutions opened their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders to highlight modern manufacturing. LinkedIn projected that there are approximately 65K+ open entry-level jobs and 3.5K+ open internships in this industry. 

  1. Education 

iCIMS survey revealed that the overall hiring trends from April to July saw increment by 70 percent. The education sector has picked up over the past several weeks but the number of hires made within that time period is still notably lower than expected. While LinkedIn noted that there are approximately 2K+ open internships positions graduates can apply and 35K+ open entry-level jobs that need to be fulfilled. 

Read also: Here is How Employers Determine a Newcomer’s Salary

How to Turn The Tide When Interview Goes Wrong 

Here’s the situation. You’re sitting on your chair, feeling utterly and completely defeated. The interviewer sits across, his arms akimbo and gives you a gaze that clearly says he is not impressed with your performance so far. The last ten minutes that have passed since the start of the interview felt like an hour long.

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation during a job interview? Well, it is entirely understandable that you would start getting nervous or agitated, especially in this time of dwindling job vacancies and career opportunities. At a certain point in a job interview, maybe the interviewer lost you and even zoned out while you are busy rambling about your experience. Some tell-tale signs that interviewers might be bored include:

  • Fiddling with his/her iPhone or Blackberry;
  • Examining his/her fingernails or the surroundings;
  • Giving you a disapproving and uninterested stare;
  • Nodding vaguely but not giving you eye contact;
  • Not responding in appropriate fashion to your stories, or
  • Simply staring into space and not responding. 

See also: Remote Networking Strategies You Should Not Miss

This is bad news – it means that they have ascertained that whatever you have delivered so far, in response to the interview questions, are not a good fit to what they are looking for. In such a case, the best thing you can do is stop and take a breath. Smile and re-engage the interviewers again, so both of you can get back on track. Here are a few interview tips that will help you recover quickly and snatch the attention back. 

Ask relevant questions: 

One good way to re-engage interviewers is to ask them relevant questions about the position offered or the company. Ask them how the company culture looks, or how it feels to work there. By doing so, you will re-emphasize your interest in the company and also prompt the interviewers to give you more information that you can use to demonstrate your suitability with the company.

Change the topic: 

Stop whatever you’re currently talking about, then change to another subject and keep your new story short. If it is evident that what you are talking about is boring, switching to something else might work in capturing the interviewers back. Bear in mind not to get lost in another long narrative, though – try to be as concise as possible, and ask for their input as much as you can.

Take a short break to recover: 

The worst thing you could possibly do is freaking out and rambling and going off on wild tangents. If you’re getting a huge case of the jitters, you might even want to request for a brief toilet break – politely. This might or might not work, depending on the interviewer’s patience. If it does work, head straight to the toilet and splash your face with cold water. Take long, slow breaths, and gather your thoughts again. Run through what you want to tell the interviewer in your head, and make sure you return looking and feeling more confident. It is far better to take a break and re-group than to push forward in a losing battle.

Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly – even if you are under or over qualified: 

If you chose to interview for a job that you are either under or over qualified for, you must have a very good reason for taking that chance. Make sure you prove it to the potential employer. Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly by displaying knowledge in the related areas, or by matching the skills you have to the skills that are required for the job. Do not expect the interviewers to connect the dots for you – show that you mean business by taking the initiative.

In sum, never throw in the towel, even when all seems lost. By taking the steps above, you will be able to take the reins and steer the interview back to a more positive direction that would increase your chances of getting hired.

Read also: Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

Remote Networking Strategies You Should Not Miss

Not only changes in work, we also need to rethink our networking strategy.

Networking is an essential part of a job search process as it gives job seekers more opportunities to advance your career. Attending meetings and social events are generally the most preferred method to do networking. However, prior to COVID-19, job seekers need to rethink their networking strategy from offline to online and remote networking. 

How do you conduct remote networking? Read on…

1- Get familiar with social media, especially LinkedIn 

You can find potential partners on all social media you use, but LinkedIn is by far the greatest way to keep up with industry trends and catch up with professional networks. Most importantly, connections you make on LinkedIn could someday prove vital to your career. 

To maximise your LinkedIn usage for networking, you can start by adding more mutual friends and introduce yourself. Have a conversation at which point you could easily make the connection and see if this person would be interested in talking with you about industries you are aiming for.

If the person does not respond to your request or message, do not take it personally. People are busy and there are some people who might be trying to control the size of their network. 

See also: Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover

2- Attend virtual networking regularly 

Remote networking starts to leverage large-scale and there are plenty of opportunities to seize, from attending online seminars to remote conferences. While the means of connection of this remote networking are different, the same networking rules apply, such as: 

  • Dress for success
  • Have conversation and not one sided discussion
  • Offer just as much advice as you get 
  • Have positive energy and language choices 

Beyond typical networking events, try to think outside of the box. For instance, you could host your own virtual meet-up with your fellow colleagues to talk about industry trends, projects, or just to maintain the connection. 

3- Stay active and relevant 

Last but not least, you should remember that people are more eager to talk to those with good personal branding. This means that not only you should consume, but you should also create to make yourself known to the public. Create your own content and share them to your networking or social media. Comment on some posts and get the discussion going. Share other colleagues’ content with positivity and respect. All of these steps seem simple but it might add up in the end. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

As you end up with this article, you’ve probably gone through an awful experience – and it is likely about a job interview. Well, we know that job interviews can be tough at times, especially for a good role within an industry. Self-doubt can creep in as soon as you walk out the door seeing other competitors walk out with you from the room. This feeling can also keep you day and night whether you’ve done your best to get selected and accepted for the role you have applied for.

Be it a feeling of resentfulness or embarrassment because you think you haven’t done your best in an interview, you should not drown yourself into negative emotion. Instead, let’s turn these negative experiences into positive one and become better for next interviews, because every setback in life is an opportunity to learn. 

See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

Here is what you need to do to put yourself in a position to ace your next job interviews: 

Thank interviewers for the opportunity 

The interview might not go well but it should not affect how grateful you are for being invited. When sending thank you notes, whether via email or messaging app, don’t just say “thank you”, you should also send a brief note after receiving the opportunity. 

When you get rejected, saying thank you is also advisable. It does not only give a good image to the interviewer, it could also build bridges with the interviewer for when they have another job opening. Make sure to also include a note that saying thank you, your disappointment for not getting the job, and what you’ll do to improve yourself for future opportunities. This way, interviewers might give you free feedback and show you what’s wrong and right during your interview, but do not be too pushy in this matter. 

Reflect 

After going through an unpleasant experience, you might want to forget it soon and move on. However, this should not be the case with a job interview. After the interview is over, take a step back and think about the interview. Putting your thoughts on paper after the interview gives it the most validity. This could also help with your emotion and thoughts. 

After a couple of days, revisit what you wrote. Look at your entries completed in the heat of the moment. Reflecting on these thoughts with a clear head can help you focus on how to develop your interviewing skills in the future. 

Learn and strengthen your strength 

Although you might only remember the bad endings or wrong answer to your interviews, always remember that there is always ying in yang, and good in bad. Thus, think about what you did that went well. For example, you messed up the question about “your past experience”, but you are good at representing yourself as the best accountant. Or, you were so comfortable in demonstrating the answer by giving a story, but it was ineffective as you took so much of the interviewer’s time. This way, you can develop a better interview strategy and build a foundation that is your typical. 

Getting a job is about selling your value, just like how you would sell a product to customers. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

See also: Th3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE e Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

So you secure a job interview with your dream employer, what and how will you prepare next?

Preparing yourself for a job interview is surprisingly similar to preparing for a date. Sure, you want to get the best first impression to attract a “potential” partner. That being said, finding the perfect outfits, coming up with interesting stories, thinking about good questions to ask and following up with gratitude should be in your interview “date” list. 

Here’s how your interview could be like a first date: 

#1- You’re dressed to impress

Do: Put more effort into planning your outfit

Don’t: Whip out those false eyelashes or the tie with skull-and-crossbones on it 

Why: It’s great that you are putting in the effort to help your interviewer remember you better. But you want it to be for the right reasons. It’s not a fashion parade. Interviewers like personality but they don’t want your individuality shoved in their faces. Like a first date, it’s important to understand what the other party is like. If your company is a respected bank, going for the interview in a plunging, cleavage-bearing LBD might not be the best option. 

See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

#2- You celebrate your victory too early

Do: Decompress from the stress of the interview

Don’t: Make that call to your best friend while you’re still on the premises

Why: You don’t just make an impression when you walk into the interview room. You could be leaving one right until you exit the building. Just as how you’d wait until you’re out of earshot to gush about your date to your friend, the last thing you want is for someone from management overhearing you brag about “how you just nailed it” as you make the call in the office toilet. This will come across as extremely cocky and off-putting — and it’s a sure way of ensuring you won’t get called back.

#3- You go on and on … and on

Do: Mention about some of the more notable projects you worked on in your previous company

Don’t: Talk about how you led your rowing team to victory when you were 17

Why: You’ve done some wonderful things with your life. Great! But just as you don’t tell your date your entire life story during your first meeting with him or her, the same rule applies for a job interview. When you have just 15 minutes with your interviewer, the keyword here is “edit”. Talk about your role in the successful management of key projects with your previous companies and, more importantly, ask pertinent questions about the one you’re interviewing for throughout the interview (and not just at the end). That way, you’ll come across as plugged-in, engaged and sincere.

With a little bit of preparation and practice, job interviews and first dates don’t have to be nail-biting experiences. Just remember that, in either case, it’ll do you well not to celebrate any victories until you know for certain the other party is willing to make that crucial commitment to you.

Read also: 6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

The Right Way to Accept Job Offer

Congratulations on getting a job offer! The next step is to accept it and here is how…

After the trials and tribulations of the recruitment process, finally you managed to secure yourself a job. Firstly, congratulations! Everyone knows how tough the employment market today is, and finding a new job is a great achievement. Now that you have the offer though, what’s the best protocol for accepting it? Sit tight and read carefully…

How should you accept it?

In simple terms, how you should accept the offer depends on how it was made to you. If it was offered over the phone, then do it over the phone; if it was via email, then respond via email; and so on. Regardless of this, you need to follow it up with a formal acceptance letter. It doesn’t need to be too long, but it’s essential that you put a clear statement down in writing. Just say that you’re delighted to accept the role, and confirm additional details such as your desired start date. If there’s any more information that you think you need at this stage such as any possible benefits, pick up the phone and give the HR department a call.

See also: Networking: How to Make Yourself Memorable

What else do you need to do?

If you’re already working elsewhere, even if it’s a part-time position that you’ll no longer need, get in touch with your current employer immediately and talk about your notice period. Check the terms of your contract to work out what’s expected of you (if you haven’t handed in your notice already).

References are also something that you might need to think about. Some employers will only seek out references after the job offer has been made, so let your referees know that they’ll probably be contacted soon. Any delays could push your start date back, so don’t lose sight of the little details.

If you’ve been shortlisted for other jobs, it’s common courtesy to contact the recruiter and let them know about your change in circumstances. It’ll take just a few minutes, and you never know when you might decide that you want to work with them again. They’ll appreciate it!

Once the formalities are out of the way, it’s time to think about getting started. You’ll be given a start date, though it might be a good idea to arrange to call in beforehand to meet your line manager and have a chat about your role and your responsibilities. It’ll make your first day seem a lot less daunting. Best of luck!

Read also: 6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

Recruiters admitted that an estimated 70 percent of job openings are not advertised online, meaning the majority of opportunities would never make it to the job boards. Based on this statistic, the more senior the position, the less likely the job is to be advertised. So, how do all these jobs come about? 

While you can find plenty of job opportunities out there, the best one should be dug a little deeper. How to do that? Do find the below tips useful. Let’s Go for the Hidden Gem!

Friends, family and networking

It’s quite common to ask people how they got their job and receive the response, ‘I got it through someone I knew’. Though this might seem unfair on the surface, you’d be surprised by just how many contacts you and your friends and family actually have.

So, ask around! Talk about your job hunting to people and you’ll see that people are friendly and forthcoming. Family members especially won’t hesitate to help you out, and good friends will too. Try and find the ones that are well connected.

See also: Networking: How to Make Yourself Memorable

Volunteer work and shadowing

The idea of an unpaid job sounds quite unappealing, but the reality is far different. Volunteer work in your community can be very rewarding, give you important experience and teach you valuable skills. Even better, you can connect with new people and gain more contacts who could get you a paid job. 

Try and choose work that is either related to the field or industry you wish to be involved in or can give you relevant skills and experience. This could make quite a big difference when going to job interviews, and it also looks great on your CV.

Work at your university

Most graduates don’t think about going back to work at the place where they studied, but if you dig just a little you’ll find an array of jobs that are open for both students and graduates alike. They could be in a variety of fields including telemarketing, hospitality, IT services and teaching.

These jobs are also quite popular, so apply early and always be on the lookout for job advertisements around campus and within your university email account. If you’re not sure what jobs your university has on offer, then get in touch with the careers service.

Scour the newspaper

Searching the job listing sections on local paper is something that you’re doing already, but there’s more to be gained from the newspaper than that. Read about companies and businesses in your area that are expanding or investing and contact them directly. This will give you the upper-hand when it comes to getting a job from them in the first place, as you’ve already demonstrated your eagerness to work as well as your personal initiative.

Similarly, if you notice a new manager or director has just been hired by a company then you can assume that they will be recruiting a team. It takes a little confidence but why not call up and throw your hat in the ring. What’s the worst that can happen? 

Finally, sometimes in the paper they mention people who have moved on to another job. This is your chance to try and poach that job before they start recruiting and advertise the position. 

Career fairs

When you attend a career fair you need to realise that this is your chance to make yourself known among those who are looking to hire. It’s not just about picking up one application form after another, but instead you should converse, ask questions, and try to make yourself memorable so that when choices need to be made about who gets the job, your name will come up.

If you get pally with someone who turns out to be the HR manager, then you could be working your way into your dream job. It’s also a great place to generally gain more information about sectors you might want to enter. 

Travel

A common way to get a job abroad is to simply make friends with the right people – this means people who have contacts and have been in the area longer than you have.

You could work at a bar, restaurant or even at the hostel you are staying in. Hostel jobs are quite popular since guests and workers are usually changing frequently as people come and go over months and years. Once you’ve got a basic job, you might consider looking at building a career in another country.

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters

Networking: How to Make Yourself Memorable

Among the goals of every networking encounter is to leave a lasting positive impression. Not only a positive impression can help networkers to be more marketable, but it can also help establish and cultivate ongoing relationships with professionals in the field. For example, when you are remembered positively by someone, they will likely refer you as “contacts” and tell others about you, keep you updated on job leads, and provide you with valuable information about your field of interest.

The question is, how to make yourself memorable? 

The key to this is to grab the attention of your interlocutors as early as possible before their attention gets into something else. According to BBC Health, a person’s attention span varies depending on tasks, responsibilities, or time they have. Some might have a longer or shorter attention span. However, if you can tell a person the most important information that she/he MUST know about you in a few seconds (commonly 30-second), you’ll likely be remembered better. 

This interaction is known as 30-second pitch or the answer to the question “tell me about yourself”. A 30-second pitch is a brief introduction that tells a contact who you are and offers a few interesting and relevant details about your professional background and interest. It is more useful at public events, such as career expos and mixers, where networking encounters tend to be brief. An extended version of this conversation (your one-minute pitch) can also be used as an introduction in an interview. 

See also: Which One is More Important: Degree Certificate or Skill Certificate?

Your 30-second pitch should include the following elements: 

  • An introduction (give your name and current school/job as appropriate to the situation) 
  • Your relevant professional interests and the relevant aspects of your professional background 
  • The reason that are you interested in speaking with the contact
  • Your interest in having a follow-up conversation (inquire about the best way to get in touch with the contact in the future)

Here are other tips to get your 30-second pitch right and valuable:

  • Ask questions – Your pitch should feel like a natural, albeit succinct, conversation. Do not rattle off a list of your professional experience for 30 consecutive seconds. Instead, allow room for the contact to join the discussion. Feel free to ask a few strategic questions and listen carefully to their comments and respond accordingly. 
  • Be direct – Do not assume that your contact will make the right inferences about you. If you want them to know that you are passionate about healthcare reform, say, ‘‘I am passionate about health care reform.’’ 
  • Practice – While your pitch should never sound rehearsed or robotic, practising in front of a mirror and/or with another person will help you remember important information when you encounter an unexpected networking opportunity. 

Connection through networking is one of the best ways for you to get a job of your interest, thus remember to always use 30-second pitch tips. 

Read also: Informational Interview (Part 2): How to Interview Professionally?