Written by Connie Huber, PHR SHRM-CP
GCU, Executive Director Career IMPACT Center
Thanks to Jackie for opening the event by Welcoming us to Grand Canyon University with our new day of THURSDAYS!
Networking is not only reserved for your job search but should also be part of your professional day and career-related efforts. Your network will help you get hired and help you grow your career.
LinkedIn recently shared the following statistics demonstrating the value of networking:
- 70% of job seekers in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection
- 80% of professionals consider professional networking to be important to career success
- 35% of surveyed professionals say that a casual conversation on LinkedIn Messaging has led to a new opportunity
- 61% of professionals agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead to possible job opportunities
“Networking for Introverts, Extroverts and In-Between Verts”
For most of us the word “NETWORKING” makes us shudder in fear and sends us into a panic. Fortunately, you are not alone in this perspective. Why do we react so negatively to this activity? A lot has to do with our personality and not knowing HOW to network. Abby Kohut’s alias, “Absolutely Abby”, shared her expertise with us on how to be a networking success whether we are an introvert, extrovert or in-between vert.
STEPS TO SUCCESS:
Steps leading to success include learning how to chat whenever & wherever to whomever; getting confident with structured networking and FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP.
NEVER ENDING NETWORKING
Networking is not only necessary to your job search but also to your professional development. Networking should be a continuous activity whether you are employed or unemployed.
Thank goodness there are a number of structured networking venues available to professionals! These include associations, seminars/events, conferences and meet-ups.
Planning your strategy prior to the event will make you more comfortable and prepared. It is helpful to pre-register, research attendees, brush up on current events and plan your attire.
- YOUR PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
In planning your attire, it is advised to dress one level above what is commonly expected. Dressing professionally will send the message you are someone important and make you stand out in the crowd. Heavy perfume/cologne needs to be avoided, as you never know when someone is allergic to the scent.
Abby suggested that you bring a pen; a friend, if nervous to attend the event alone; one of your listening ears and a SMILE.
- NETWORKING CARDS
You should take networking cards to share with those you meet at the event or during your day. Key features to share on your card include your LinkedIn address, white space, light coating, may include a list of skills you can offer and perhaps even have your picture on the card.
- ELEVATOR PITCH
Your “Elevator pitch” is a concise, carefully planned, well-practiced description about you that your mother should be able to understand & remember in the time it would take to ride an elevator. Components of the pitch include: stating your name, describing your profession or company, offer a success story, adding in a “zing” or interesting fact, requesting action and repeating your name. Your goal is to evoke emotion from the listener.
Abby’s 2006 Elevator Pitch:
My name is Abby Kohut and I am a Director of Recruiting and an avid ping pong player. In the past, I have caffeinated teams that hired 900 teachers in 4 months & 400 pharmaceutical sales reps in 3 months. If you are a CEO whose company is growing through the roof, I look forward to partnering with you to hire exceptional talent. On election day, vote for me Abby Kohut, the Queen of Staffing.
- YOUR VERY OWN ZZZZZING!
Purpose of adding your personal “zing” is to make you stand out and easily remembered. One way to do so is to have your name rhyme with a phrase that will make you standout. Examples would be “Joan can help you with a loan.” “Steve has good ideas up his sleeve.” “Ginger can spice up your project.” “Michael can help you recycle.” Other ways to add zing are to do so by using the 1st letter of your name such as “Frank Quiterio-Q is for Quality”; or your entire name such as “Tim-Technology is Me, Bob-Big Ostrich Breeder”; or by sharing your hobbies/interests such as shot glass collector/bank robber.
- JOIN CONVERSATIONS: Look for body language that invites you to join the group. If a person(s) feet are open, this is a signal they are open for conversation.
- SCAN FOR THE UNUSUAL: Is there a ruby ducky tie, cookie monster earrings or unique phone cover being worn/used by one of professionals attending the event. The unusual is a great springboard for a conversation. It is important to remember that people hire or work with individuals they like. In addition, if someone likes you they are going to be willing to help you.
- SPEAK LESS & ASK MORE: Ask questions! Examples include “Have you been to this event before?” “Do you live around here?” “What do you think about …?” “What has been your greatest success?” “How can I help you with …?”
- NETWORK SURVIVAL TIPS: Avoid a fishy or weak handshake. Arrive early/stay late. Talk to the leader. Become a “Norm” like the Norm on Cheers. Volunteer. Seek out those individuals who have a deer in the headlight look. Give yourself a goal to meet 3 people; better yet make it 7! Spend 5 minutes getting to know someone.
POST EVENT STRATEGY
- FOLLOW UP: Be the first to follow up!
- PAY IT FORWARD: Help fellow professionals when you can.
- MEET FOR LUNCH: Get to know your new connection.
- VIRTUAL COFFEE: If there is a geographic challenge, do a virtual coffee.
FINAL NOTE: Networking should not be a feared or dreaded activity. After all, “you have been networking since kindergarten!”- Abby Kohut
Raquel Phelps, Recruiter
Sonora Quest is a joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics. The organization is part of the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system. There are 3,100 employees serving more than 23,000 patients every day throughout Arizona and performing more than 60 million diagnostic tests per year. Positions are open in Medical Scientists, Finance, Logistics, IT, Risk Management, Phlebotomists, and Sales and Marketing. Sonora Quest’s total rewards include dental, vision, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, medical pharmacy, employee assistance program, paid time off, retirement plans, legal plan, and pet insurance. Apply online and join the Sonora Quest team.
Kent Norris, HR Recruiter
Hacienda Healthcare was started by Ilene Butler in a mobile home in Phoenix because she wanted to adopt a little girl known as Cindy in 1967. By 1970, Ilene had 19 children and 10 employees. Hacienda Healthcare has served the community for over 50 years. It serves over 2,550 infants, children, teens and adults and has over 40 programs. Services include Intermediate Care Facility, Skilled Nursing Facility, Hacienda Children’s Hospital, South Mountain Health Supply, Children’s Angel Foundation, and Group Homes for developmentally disabled. Benefits are robust with medical, dental vision, company paid life insurance, education assistance, employee assistance program, supplemental life & other voluntary benefits, subsidized bus passes, sick days, vacation, 403B company match available, and 6 paid holidays. Current openings include RN’s, LPN’s, CNA’s, Housekeeper, Dietary Aide, and Caregivers. Please visit the Hacienda Healthcare website and complete an application.
Tom Wheeler, Field Sales Leader
Allstate was established in Chicago in 1931 and has been in business for 80 years. Allstate is #81 on the Fortune 100 list and has an employee population of 70,000 employees in the US and Canada. The SW region is composed of AZ, OK, NV, NM and UT. Allstate is one of the most recognizable brands in America and has 47 products to help serve its customers’ needs.
Available positions at the Tempe Regional Office include IT, Finance & Economics, Human Resources, Product, Claims, and Sales Management. Other opportunities are Financial Specialist, Agency Owner, and Licensed Sales Producers. The company is military friendly and offers free education to veterans and a bonus award of $500. In addition, Allstate has a $10,000 referral award. To learn more about careers, visit Allstate’s website.
GOODWILL of Central & Northern AZ
Bobby Ghisolfo, Director Business &Community Development
Goodwill’s mission is to work as a positive catalyst for eliminating unemployment. Goodwill transforms gently used, donated goods into services that help thousands of Arizonans. The organization works with 600 employers and provides on-site career development where you can work with professional career counselors. Services include free resume and cover letter assistance and review, hiring events for hundreds of local hiring companies, and interview skills and tips. Go to Goodwill for employment events, talent sourcing and job boards.
Scott Caruso, Software Development Advisor
Jessica Pierce, Executive Director, Career Connectors, closed the meeting by thanking Grand Canyon University and the volunteers. The next Career Connectors meeting will be in Scottsdale on Thursday, April 12, 2018 and features Lauren Kutsko, as speaker for the topic “Energize Your Career Transition with DISC.” For additional information on this event and future events, please go to the Event Schedule.