You might have heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth.” This is a phrase that ESSEC Asia-Pacific Career Services Manager, Venon Sim, holds close to his heart.

In his work with the MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) students, he strives to help them build their networks through initiatives designed to improve their CV writing, networking, and understanding of the industry.

Although the exact programs may change based on student needs, here are four staples to look out for:

1 | Crafting a Winning CV Workshop

Putting together a CV that will attract the attention of prospective employers is one of the most essential parts of the job search. At ESSEC, students attend a workshop run by Sim about how to make their CVs stand out.

“The format for marketing CVs is less strict than in industries like finance,” Venon shares, adding what is essential is to be able to use the correct vocabulary and have “strong adjectives” to catch recruiters’ attention when their CVs are run through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

The ATS, he shares, is often used by larger companies with a massive volume of applicants, making it crucial for students to understand how to navigate the system.

To wrap up the workshop, Venon also runs one-on-one consultations with students as a follow-up. In addition to reinforcing the workshop’s lessons, this individualized attention ensures that students receive personalized help in crafting their CVs to suit the specific workplaces they are applying to.

2 | Elevator Pitch Masterclass

In marketing, an elevator pitch significantly impacts how one is viewed. To help students gain the upper hand, Venon also arranges for a workshop run by seasoned professionals to give them hands-on practice.

He explains that the workshop format is flipped to encourage spontaneity and simulate real-world unpredictability when one may need to give these pitches. Students perform their elevator pitches at the start of the session—the feedback and theory follow.

Venon believes this helps to encourage creativity before drawing students back to the foundations of what needs to be said or done to make an impact.

3 | Lessons on Networking

Learning to set up LinkedIn profiles is also a focus for Venon, as he views the platform as an ideal place to connect with alumni, reach out to hiring managers, and apply for jobs.

To help students achieve this, he organizes the “Optimizing Your LinkedIn for Career Success” workshop, which educates students on the dos and don’ts of their profiles and how they should dress and present themselves when meeting recruiters in person.

Significantly, these are all held within the first few weeks of the MMD journey, so students are well-equipped with the basics before meeting employers at their first postgraduate career fair.”

4 | Opportunities to Learn From Experts

Finally, Venon ensures that MMD students are well-versed in industry trends through guest talks from industry leaders. This helps them learn not only the specifics of the field but also what the current landscape is like and how they might best chart their path into it.

These lectures are supplemented later in the year by seminars on more practical topics, such as salary negotiation and hiring trends. This ordering is intentional—first, students learn about the fields they wish to join, then they are prepared for the application and hiring processes.

Venon shares that “all this information is specific to the Singapore context,” giving students an advantage when looking at local companies and MNCs based in Singapore.

Reflecting on the suite of career services support, one might notice that Venon’s emphasis is down-to-earth and practical, unlike the bells and whistles expected from modern-day marketing.

“My role is to get them back to the basics and be prepared,” he reiterates. After all, when it comes to “selling” oneself, it is arguable that nothing speaks louder than authenticity, etiquette, and authentic quality.