We’re in the final month of our Brand Yourself theme and we have one more resource for you on this topic. You’ve learned how to brand yourself, how that influences your professional documents, found the workplace that fits your brand and read about some steps that help make you a great coworker. Now, it’s time to network your brand. Meeting with colleagues, industry connections, and potential employers is an important step for your future career and it’s even more important that you present your brand correctly each time you make one of those connections.
To get started, you can fill out our networking and elevator pitch worksheets. The networking worksheet focuses on recognizing and strengthening the professional connections you already have by having you come up with a list of your networking connections. From there the worksheet asks you to work on your own networking skills by introducing two people who don’t know each other. Finally, you should pick one of your connections that is weaker than the others and work on strengthening that connection by helping that person out in some way.
The elevator pitch worksheet is helpful to those who don’t have much experience networking or want to brush up on their skills. Crafting an elevator pitch is very useful when you’re in networking situations because it allows you to think of your goals, strengths, how your accomplishments prove your skills, and how you can benefit the company or person you’re networking with. Elevator pitches can also be very helpful when preparing for an interview if you’re searching for a job or internship. The elevator pitch worksheet gives you several questions to consider, as well as an example pitch framework. Then it’s up to you to craft your pitch. If I was crafting my elevator pitch based off of the template provided, it would look something like this:
My name is Kate Ansel. I am a junior at Ohio University majoring in Journalism: Strategic communication. I have always enjoyed writing and I believe my skills in digital communication and social media strategy are a great fit for the internal/external communications industry. Last semester I completed an internship focused on marketing, digital communication, social media strategy, which allowed me to gain exposure to the broader communications industry. I am interested in learning more about what you do and what advice you would have at being successful in the communications field.
It only took me five minutes to fill in that template, and I’m pretty pleased with the product that came out of it. Obviously, I would adjust this pitch depending on the person or company I was talking to and the job I might be applying for, but it’s easy to shift or alter in those situations.
Now it’s your turn to try your hand a drafting an elevator pitch and examining the networking connections you already have before your next networking or professional event. Make sure to keep your brand in mind as you fill out the worksheets and that you’re accurately representing who you are. You can also attend our Who Are You and Why Should I Care? Workshop to be guided through these activities and learn more about networking.
By Kate Ansel, CLDC Social Media Intern