Career & Internship Services

Career Handbook

Networking

WHAT IS JOB AND INTERNSHIP SEARCH NETWORKING?

Job and internship search networking is the process of developing a list of contacts for the purpose of gathering information about a job, internship or a profession. The process of establishing relationships with people, exchanging information and ideas and working together for future mutually beneficial exchanges, make networking one of the most successful ways to find a job or internship.

NETWORKING:

  • Serves to provide information, support and job leads.
  • Takes place in formal or informal settings.
  • Assists in the choice of a major or career and can validate your career interests.
  • Improves your interpersonal and interviewing skills.
  • Helps you gather information about different types of careers and the job qualifications associated with those careers.
  • Helps you obtain advice about job and internship searching.
  • Can lead to mentoring relationships.
  • Works best when you are being yourself. Genuinely seeking assistance and information can lead to positive results.

FINDING CONTACTS

The best place to start networking is with family, friends and neighbors and with the people they know. Others with whom to network include faculty, coaches, alumni, members of associations or clubs, recruiters at job fairs, employers conducting information sessions on campus or acquaintances. Tell everyone you know you are interested in networking. You might be surprised by who is able to help you. Tip: be sure to organize your contact list. Include contact information, where and when you met and what you will do to follow-up your initial contact.

MAKING CONTACTS

Contacts can be made in person, by phone, by e-mail, or through social media. In all cases, present yourself professionally. Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation in all written communication.

  • Request an opportunity to conduct an informational interview.
  • Chat with people casually (e.g., on a plane or bus, while waiting in line, at social gatherings).
  • Attend meetings or join professional associations in your field.
  • Volunteer at an organization related to your field.
  • Talk with recruiters at job fairs or on-campus company information sessions.
  • Use your LinkedIn contacts to request introductions to others.
  • Use LinkedIn "groups" to connect with professionals in your field(s) of interest.
  • Be curious. Talk with people about the work they do.

BE PREPARED

Have a plan. Do your homework. Think about your goals for networking - what information do you want to take away from the meeting? Decide what you want to convey about yourself. Be flexible and open to opportunities you may not have expected. Always be ready to make a contact.

SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING

Increasingly, job seekers and employers are using social media to connect. There are a variety of professional sites, including one of the most popular, LinkedIn. Your online presence is important whether or not you are actively seeking to connect with professionals using social media. Read more tips for using social media with your job or internship search.

FOLLOW-UP CONTACT

Be sure to send follow-up thank you notes to your contacts to show your appreciation and increase your chances of developing productive relationships. If you have not done so by this point, also connect with your in-person contacts on LinkedIn. This online follow-up will allow you to stay connected with your contacts.