Online education is tackling traditional brick-and-mortar education head on. You’re an online student—you, more than anyone, understand why it’s so great. You used the internet to your advantage so you could earn your degree. But why aren’t you landing the job? If you’ve gotten used to reaching your academic goals with a computer, it may be time to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to the job search. Here’s how to get the job with your electronics engineering technology degree, or any degree for that matter: do more networking to put yourself out there.
Despite the fact that we spend nearly 11 hours each day in front of a screen, 85% of people prefer in-person interaction because they feel it builds stronger, more meaningful business relationships. These conversations are usually more positive, and tend to be perceived as more credible. So don’t leave your job search up to the internet when you could be making worthwhile connections in person.
Here are three things you’re doing wrong and how you can fix them:
You’re Not Networking
When you think about how to get the job, does networking come to mind? It should.
In a fortune.com interview with President of the New York Stock Exchange Tom Farley, he said, “when I think about my own career, I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking.” If you find yourself running when you hear the word “network,” remind yourself that you are capable of networking successfully.
When we talked with Doug Dimler, Grantham’s Career Services Coordinator, about how to get the job, he said “learn to network, online and in person. Especially in person. I cannot emphasize this enough. More often than not, you will find a job by networking.”
Rather than lag behind, one way to put yourself ahead in building your network is to avoid waiting to network until you absolutely have to. Start early. For example, getting connected with a mentor before you graduate is a great way to gain contacts and have guidance through the networking process.
You’re Flubbing Your “Elevator Speech”
Once you have started building your network, it doesn’t hurt to master your “elevator speech.” It will help you communicate comfortably with your connections, so they can get to know you.
“It's always good to have an elevator speech. Practice that to make it flow. You should say in 30 seconds or less who you are, what your background in your skills are and what you can do to help any organization (actually time it, mine came out to 24 seconds). Start by writing it down first, then revise as you go. Practice it to others like you are talking to them, not like you are rehearsing. The cadence of your speech should not be rushed. It’s not easy, but practice makes perfect,” says Dimler.
An article on forbes.com stresses the importance of tailoring your elevator speech to the person you’re connecting with, not to yourself. Focus your speech to the needs of their business, and let them know what you can do to help.
You’re Not Making the Most of Your Skill Set
As you work towards your electronics engineering technology degree, you should be aware of the skills you are gaining and how, exactly, you can put them to use for a potential employer.
“Most want employees who can apply all skills right away. We all know that is not going to be the case most of the time. But they also know that people need time to get acclimated to a new company culture. Make sure whatever skills you put on your resume, you actually know how to do. If not, do not put it down as a skill. Put it down as a subject matter that you are familiar with or have learned. There is a huge difference between practical experience and just knowledge of a skill,” Dimler said.
Luckily, when you’re wondering exactly how to get the job, Grantham’s career services department is ready to offer any support you need. With one-on-one assistance and professional development tools to help you recognize your personal strengths as a potential employee, you can perfect your resume and prepare your interview skills!
Now That You Know How to Get the Job — Go Get It!
You’re taking the time to get your degree, so take advantage of networking and give yourself a better chance to get your foot in the door to potential jobs. If you get started at Grantham and use these networking strategies, you can be well on your way to that dream job!