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Career Resource Center

Networking

What Is Networking?

“Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit.” Business Dictionary

Why Should I Network?

  • Increase credibility and visibility
  • Reach new circles of people
  • Practice communication skills
  • Learn new things
  • New opportunities
  • Grow your resources

How Do I Network?

  1. Identify the people in your network
  2. Reach out
  3. Conduct an informational interview
  4. Follow-up (and keep in contact)
  5. Grow your network

Who Is In My Network?

  • People You Know
    • Friends, relatives, co-workers, classmates, friends of parents/parents of friends, teachers/professors, university staff
    • Social media platforms
    • LinkedIn
  • People you do not know but can create connections to

How Do I Grow My Network?

How Do I Reach Out?

  • Consider contacts who seem like the obvious choice
  • Who are you comfortable talking to?
  • Whose career is interesting to you?
  • Who do you want to learn from, and what do you want to learn?
  • Reach outviaLinkedIn or email
    • Write a short note indicating the reason for your message, who you are, and kindly ask for the opportunity to speak with them (informational interview).

How Do I Make Small Talk?

  • Simply ask open-ended questions
    • How did you…? What brought you to…? What do you think about…? Tell me about…
  • Topics for conversation
    • Movies, music, books, food, sports, weather, hobbies, projects, travel
    • Your success stories!
  • Avoid talking about
    • Money, relationships, politics, religion, family issues, disasters
  • Find a similarity
  • Establish eye contact and listen!

How Do I Keep In Contact?

  • Follow-up after your first communication
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Share an interesting article
  • Share a volunteer opportunity
  • Did they help you with something? – keep them in the loop!