For Verity, our annual Student Job Search Workshop is more than a way to give back to our community. It is an opportunity to teach new graduates how to manage their future. By setting short, medium, and long-term goals, we are helping students pave successful career paths. This initiative allows Verity to share career management expertise to empower these young people and make a difference in their lives.
Owning your career
A promising group of Harvard MBA grads participated in a survey about their goal-setting strategies, and 84% had not set any short or long-term goals for themselves. While this may seem like an astonishing statistic, this is a growing concern that many new grads are facing today. The root of this concern stretches back to not knowing what type of goals to set. During our workshop, we challenge students to take ownership of their careers and construct proactive goals that will help them through their job search to:
- Gain a sense of control
- Have a plan
- Access opportunities faster and more often
- Consider themselves “problem solvers” rather than “job seekers”
- Adapt more quickly to the ever-changing marketplace
Understanding the purpose of interviews
As an interviewee, it’s important to develop your reasons for why you want to be interviewed by a company. This will help you prepare the questions you want to ask and answer the interviewer’s questions confidently. We provide students with the tools and support they need to evaluate their prospects. Having this knowledge allows them to understand the purpose of the interview and prepares them to ask the right questions during the conversation.
Prepare for a successful interview:
- Establish the purpose of your interview (why do you want to meet with them?)
- Practice for behavioural questions (for example, “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me a specific example of…”)
- Prepare some additional examples as back-up
- Write questions for the interviewer (for example, “What are the immediate priorities for this role?” or “How did this role become available?”)
Networking is an invaluable tool
Networking is one of the most critical skills to acquire. For new grads, the benefits of networking can be far-reaching. If you apply this skill regularly, it can help you gain information about a specific industry, emerging trends, or an interesting career prospect. In the workshop, we ask students to work through networking exercises to construct productive conversations that help them make the right connections.
Build an effective networking call script:
- Build rapport with the individual (pick a common subject, e.g., a latest news story): 30 sec – 1 min
- Share a brief overview of your profile: 1 min
- Elaborate on your current situation: 1 min
- Direct a few questions to the network contact (aim for a minimum 4): 10 min
- Ask for feedback on your plans: 1-2 min (optional)
- Request additional referrals
- Close the conversation: Thank you; What you’ve learned; Next steps
LinkedIn is one of the most efficient ways to warm up to networking practices. This platform gives the foundation to build a strong network without attending many events, and also allows you to keep in touch with those you have met in person. Students gain valuable insights for making the most out of this tool by applying simple tactics:
- Make sure you are visible to everyone on LinkedIn in your privacy settings
- Use the search option to get to know your network and discover new people to connect with
- Take advantage of invitations to connect:
- Be strategic (why are you connecting, and how can you help each other?)
- Include a customized message when sending connection requests
- Reply to the message when receiving a connection request
Learn about our career transition services and how we can support you through your career journey to help you find your next role.