Networking is the ongoing process of building professional connections. Career professionals report that up to 75 percent of job openings are never advertised, therefore, networking is a crucial element to job searching.
Plain and simple, the purpose of networking is to build relationships, connect with people in your field of interest, and an effective way to find job and internship opportunities. Networking can happen in a casual environment, a professional setting or at formally-structured networking events.
Opportunities to Network include:
- Social media – We suggest creating a LinkedIn profile to seek out individuals you are connected to who are in positions or companies you are interested in exploring.
- Informational interviews
- Job Shadowing
- Chamber of Commerce events
- Professional organization meetings and conferences
- Classroom speakers
- Current employers, supervisors, and colleagues
- Job and internship fairs
- Mentoring groups (on-campus or community-based)
- The more you network, the better your chances of hearing about job openings.
- Present yourself professionally in appearance, language, and interactions.
- Prepare a personal introduction or elevator pitch which includes your name, major, year in school, interest areas, and general career goals.
- Develop a list of general questions to ask about an individual’s job, career path, and place of employment.
- Maintain an organized list of contacts.
- Send a thank you note to those who provide information and referrals within 24 hours.
Check out our events page in Handshake to find and register for upcoming opportunities to network.