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?
- Identify the people in your network
- Reach out
- Conduct an informational interview
- Follow-up (and keep in contact)
- 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
- People you do not know but can create connections to
- Professional Associations: Organizations and local chapters affiliated with your desired industry
- Job Fairs/Networking Events: On-campus and off-campus job fairs
- Online Social Networks - Facebook & LinkedIn
- Volunteer: Choose an organization that’s related to your profession or help out doing something that’s career-related
- LinkedIn SUNY New Paltz Alumni Network
How Do I Grow My Network?
- On-Campus and Off-campus job fairs
- Campus clubs/organizations
- Professional Associations
- Local organizations
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!