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6 Tips To Warm Up Your Job Search This Fall With Networking

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Written By John Calabrese | October 19, 2015

It is mid October here in Utica, NY and all of your friends are well into their first semester of college or are hard at work in their first job out of school. You, on the other hand, a recent college graduate, are in a bit of a different situation. Actively seeking employment and possibly thinking that the jump from college to the real world is “more difficult than I thought.”

Every day you find yourself on your laptop or iPad googling phrases like “jobs near me”, “jobs hiring Utica NY”, and “jobs in Rome NY”. Searching through online classifieds and scouring company websites for any glimmer of hope that a career opportunity in your field of study will pop up. You have put in 4 or more years of study, completed the required internships, graduated and now the thought of finding a job in Utica, NY seems at times, bleak.

Presently, the Utica job market is extremely competitive, especially for recent college grads, but there are ways for you to stand out from the crowd by learning how to effectively network, at networking events or in places you wouldn’t even think of.

Job networking events can be found throughout the Mohawk Valley on a weekly basis. Although many recent graduates tend to find these events intimidating, they are a great way you can meet prospective employers and show them that you would be a valuable employee. Do not be caught off guard, there are ways to help you make the most out of your time and present yourself as a prospective employee.

  1. Create an “elevator speech”.

Brand yourself by crafting a brief 30-second speech that will set you apart from other new graduates who are seeking the same job opportunities you are. Your focus should be on your skills and any recent experience you acquired through internships.

  1. Join a professional or industry group.

Increasing the size of your network is key! Be on the lookout for any networking opportunities that are happening in the Mohawk Valley. One of the best resources is the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce. They have monthly Business After Hours where you will be able to meet business professionals in the Utica area. There are also groups that encourage young professionals to join (take advantage of them). The Catalyst For Young Professionals is a great one to become involved in. Their mission is to “provide the spark to engage young professionals with the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce”.

  1. Show passion for the industry that you are trained in.

Being a new graduate, you do not have a ton of relevant work experience. You might have a couple of internships under your belt, which are great, but you can really impress potential employers with the passion you have about the industry or company you want to work for.

A piece of advice – the Internet and a company’s website are your new best friends. Make sure you know the following:

– Who are the top 3 companies?

– What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?

– What’s the company’s vision and values?

– Know industry trends.

The next step is to find a mentor. This can be in valuable for you. Mentors often will be able to give you the inside perspective on your field. They can give you advice on attending conferences, send you information on job listings, internships that could lead to a full time position, and provide insightful knowledge about your industry.

  1. Attend Fall Job Fairs.

Job fairs have the potential to really expand your network. Make plans to attend ALL job fairs this fall that are taking place in the Utica/Rome area. Before walking into each, have a plan on what you would like to accomplish. In the Utica area, most job fairs will take place at Utica College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) or Herkimer College (HCCC). Always bring a copy of your resume and dress for success.

  1. LinkedIn…What’s That?

You’re familiar with Facebook, right? It’s a way for you to stay connected with your friends and family. Well simply put LinkedIn is the “professional” Facebook. Social networks like LinkedIn can open a lot of doors for you. Treat your LinkedIn profile as if it was your resume, as potential employers will often use LinkedIn as they conduct their job searches. As an added bonus, you will be updated with job opportunities in your field not only in the Utica, NY area but also across the country.

  1. Refresh Your Resume And Register With A Staffing Firm.

Setup an appointment to meet with one of the Express Employment Professionals staffing consultants, not only will we put you in our database for future job opportunities but we will help you fine tune your resume, offer interview tips and help you find your dream job. Learn more about our office at www.expressmohawkvalley.com.

The Mohawk Valley is an up and coming area that is providing more jobs everyday. Take advantage of these tips and you will be well on your way to landing your first job. Just remember, every conversation opens a possible door. The next time you are in line at Utica Coffee Roasting, strike up a conversation with the person next to you. You never know who they are or whom they know. Networking is a key to finding your dream job! Speak up, branch out and don’t be afraid to ask for help.