What is networking?
- Networking is meeting and connecting with others
- Networking does not have to be face-to-face
With whom do I network?
- Networking is not just done in business settings
- Network with students studying with you, professors, employers, alumni, friends, someone random you just met. You never know what and who connections may lead to.
- Establish relationships so that you can comfortably ask for ideas, advice and referrals
- You are networking everywhere you go and every time you meet another person
- Your goal when networking: find something in common
Benefits of Networking
- Roughly 75% of jobs are found, not through advertisements, but through networking
- Most people don’t work for large employers with big Human Resources (HR) departments and automated hiring processes. Therefore, making a connection is critical!
- Employers prefer to hire people: (1) they know and (2) are recommended
- Eliminate your competition by beating them to the job before it is ever advertised
- Remember to exchange business cards and follow-up by thanking them for their time to create and maintain a strong professional network!
Online Networking with LinkedIn.com
- How to create a profile and use LinkedIn
- Upload your resume and LinkedIn fills out most of your profile for you!
- Search "People" to find professionals to connect with.
- Do not use the provided template to invite someone to connect with you. Make it personal-professional and remind the individual how you know each other.
- Do not reach our blindly to individuals you do not already know. There is etiquette involved. Be professional and courteous and ask others who are in your connection circle to introduce you.
- Search "Companies" to find people in your network, where people work before and after being at that company, geographic locations, and most common skills listed.
- Search "Groups" and join for a quick way to grow your network by field or shared interests.
- Under the "More" tab, choose "Skills & Expertise." Search a skill and find how popular it is, a list of related skills, and definitions. Use your updated vocabulary to refine your search terms, update your LinkedIn profile, and resume.
- Keep up to date with LinkedIn etiquette and tips by doing some online searches.
Check out our Pinterest board for more tips on using LinkedIn
Job shadowing is another great way to network and to see if you may enjoy a particular occupation. If you make a professional connection with someone who has a job you are interested in, ask if they will let you spend a day with them at work.
Through spending the day with a professional, you can get a good sense of their work environment, learn about the skills and training you would need, and whether or not the job would be a good fit for you. You may even hear about potential job or internship opportunities!
Informational Interviews are conversations with individuals who work for the programs, jobs, or organizations in which you are interested. Informational Interviews help you:
- Gather information about an organization, job, and related professional concerns
- Confirm your understanding of the requirements and daily operations of the job and organization
- Learn about the professional language and culture of the job and organization
- Create contacts and build relationships with people in your career field
- Learn to present yourself more effectively in future job interviews
- Gain self-confidence
To further discuss Informational Interviews or to gain assistance in setting up, preparing for, and completing an Informational Interview, set up an appointment with a Career Counselor by calling Career Services at 970-351-2127.