Are You Networking?
What is networking?
To be truly successful in your job search, you need to master the art of networking!
Networking is a process for developing and maintaining contacts and personal connections with people who may assist you in pursuing your career goals. Networking can range from an unexpected encounter to a planned meeting, so always be prepared!
Remember that you are always "on" when job searching, so always be at your "professional best" when interacting with everyone. Carry extra resumes in your car; you'll never know when you may need one!
Why do I need to network?
Many job openings are never advertised! Discover these openings by networking and letting others know you are job searching.
How do I go about networking?
Start with people you know. Have you spoken to these contacts about your job search?
- Professors and advisors to student organizations
- Fellow members of student or other organizations - college, volunteer, etc.
- Personal professional contacts such as banker, accountant, lawyer, minister
- Friends, acquaintances, neighbors, family, extended relatives and friends of family
- Former employers, co-workers; former professors
- Current employers, co-workers, and customers - that is, if you are being open about your search. NOTE: It is not necessary to disclose your search to your current employer, especially if this could jeopardize your job. However, most college seniors have part-time jobs, and their employers expect them to search for a degree-required position at some point, so it is likely to your advantage to ask for their assistance with your networking/job search - and if you may list them as a reference!
Think creatively when developing your network of contacts and organize your networking list.
- If your contacts are not aware of any job opportunities with their employing organization, ask if they can refer you to contacts they have in their organization or other organizations. Remember, it's not only who you know, but who they know!
Provide networking contacts AND references with a copy of your resume.
- They can refer to it in discussing your hiring potential with employers and speak informatively of you.
Have you explored these resources for job opportunities?
- Company web sites
- Job Boards
- Career Fairs - company representatives/recruiters
- Newspaper classifieds ("Want Ads") – both online and/or in print
- Temporary employment agencies
- Professional association web site job boards; also, local, regional, and national association conferences
- may have job fairs or formal job networking events/activities
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is an online professional network connecting you to your trusted contacts and allowing for exchange of job search and professional development knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broad network of professionals
- Send a thank you note to everyone who has been helpful to you with your job search.
- Keep networking even after you land a job! You may need your contacts again in the future!