My advice on networking and standing out to co-op employers

It can be a daunting task to go up and talk to strangers. In the field of Accounting and Finance we are put in situations where we are constantly talking to employers and building our network. In my opinion I enjoy networking because I see it as an opportunity to meet friends and create relationships.

My advice for networking is be to try and be unique and have a normal conversation. Many people try to ask employers the same questions, but for me I try to relate to them on a personal level. I try to ask questions that will peak their interests, something they are passionate about like sports, hobbies, or travelling—it makes for engaging conversations and opens you up.

I see networking as a way to meet friends and I try to speak casually like employers are my friends. To stand out among my peers I try to be different. I talk about things I enjoy such as basketball, fitness and current events! If you are passionate about a certain field or have a sense of direction then do not hesitate to ask the employers around you. They do their part and help you talk to the right people for the job.

Lastly, try to be yourself. Employers want to work with you and not the act you put on during networking. If you can show them who you are and they genuinely enjoy talking to you then you are one step away from getting the job. I am not perfect at networking, but I see it as an opportunity to learn more about others on a personal level and maybe inspire me to do things such as watch different tv shows, try new workout drills and learn more about people outside of their profession. I would also advise you to write follow-up emails to make sure the employers remember you and have evidence that you tried to reach out to them afterwards.

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