Become an Awesome Networker

Whether it’s a career fair, professional conference or work mixer, putting yourself out there is daunting. You want to come across as interested, but not aggressive, lively, but not fake. When it  comes to networking, there’s a fine line everyone has to navigate. However, learning how to network doesn’t have to be hard.

Embrace these tips and you’ll be a networking guru in no time!

Career Essentials

In today’s world, it takes a whole lot more than having a well crafted resume and cover letter to succeed in the career arena. Whether you’re looking for a job or currently in one, having all the necessary tools for success is crucial to making your mark in the professional world.

Some of things we think are essential:


Having a well crafted professional wardrobe that’s tailored to your industry is a must. Putting together this wardrobe will take some time, but make it fun by making it fit with your personality.

Career Essentials Photo


Professional Email

It’s time to put your “caligurl92” or “footbawler” email to bed. To be taken seriously in the professional arena, opt for a simple “firstname.lastname” username and if you must a number or two is okay. You can easily set up a free email account with Gmail or Yahoo!.

Business Cards

In a variety of networking settings, whether it be a job fair or an professional organization, you want to make sure you’re not only getting your name out there, but solidifying that they will remember you. At the conclusion of a conversation, how easy is it to suggest, “Can I give you my card?” or “Can I have your card?”. It makes further communication with this connection so much easier. We like MOO because it has a variety of creative and professional business card templates for you to choose from.


Handwritten notes are NOT a thing of the past. They are the preeminent way to thank an employer, professional connection or colleague. Make sure you have tasteful looking stationery for any occasion.


Stay organized with a quality planner. Use your phone’s calendar, or invest in a paper one to bring to important meetings and events. Whether you opt for a bright and colorful Lilly Pulitzer or Emily Ley or a stark and sophisticated leather bound one is up to you!


Company Culture: Something to Consider

company-cultureAlthough sometimes hard to think about, we spend a lot of time at the office. In fact, Americans spend over 2,000 hours a year at their jobs! For this reason, company culture is crucial to your sanity and happiness in the workplace. Know yourself and your preferences when it comes to work style. Do you like a casual environment or do you prefer more formal? Is teamwork your thing?

During the interview process you can begin decipher the work environment by paying close attention:

  • How are you treated while interviewing?
  • What phrases do the interviewers use frequently?
  • Is there a theme or unspoken tone to the questions asked?
  • How does the environment feel to you?
  • How prepared are the interviewers? Are they on time?
  • Were you given an interview schedule?
  • Were you treated like a prisoner or a guest?
  • Are your responses to questions treated with suspicion or professional curiosity?
  • How considerate is the company recruiter?

For more reading and information, check out Forbes and Monsters’ articles about company culture.



Cover Letter Crisis

Many of you IWU students are going through the joys of applications – whether it be for grad schools, internships, or job opportunities. A standby in the application process is the cover letter. With that comes the struggle – what to write. It is easy to write what the audience wants to hear, but you should strive for something that is personal in demonstrating your skill set.

Here’s a list of writing tips and techniques that can change how you write that cover letter so it has more authenticity, which will impress in the evaluation process.

Things are Looking Up: Employment Outlook 2015

Class of 2015: doomsday is not near! The employment landscape for 2015 is on a major upswing. Manpower’s “Employment Outlook Survey” and Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) found a lot for 2015 grads to look forward to.

According to the recent study by CERI, employers plan to hire 16% more new college graduates this year. We haven’t seen these sort of levels since the dot-com boom of the late 90’s! Likewise, 74% of employers rate the college labor market as good or excellent.

Also of note from Manpower’s “Employment Outlook Survey”, all 13 industry sectors that were measured saw positive hiring outlooks.