Networking is one of the most important activities that job-seekers need to master to be truly successful in their career search. Because the vast majority of job openings are never advertised, job-seekers need to have a network of contacts (a career network) which can help provide information, leads on job openings, career support, and invaluable information not available otherwise.
How do I network?
Create a 30-60 second “elevator pitch” or a “commercial” about YOU! Start with a firm handshake and your name (very important). Then, include information on your professional background, education, professional and academic goals and visions. Reserve personal information for when you get the job. If you have a business or networking card, don’t be afraid to hand it out.
Who should be in my network?
Everyone you know is already in your network and should know your career goals. Think of everyone that you know and compile a list. Educate them on your current visions, goals, and plans. All of these individuals are key players in your job search…they know you and they also know other people who might have great opportunities for YOU!
- Parents of Classmates
- Guest Speakers
- Current and Past Employers
- Volunteer Organizations
- Professional Affiliations
- Human Resources
Where should I network?
- Career/Job Fairs (Be sure to distribute your resume!)
- Volunteer Events
- Employer Information Sessions
There are 1,000’s of organizations in different fields that you can become a member of
Example: University of Illinois at Springfield Alumni Association, http://www.uiaa.org Hands On Resource
- Student Clubs & Organizations
- Facebook, Myspace, etc… (View a video with best practice tips)
- Organization Memberships: Many organizations offer memberships with access to other members and their valuable contact information.
Tools for Networking
- Networking Business Cards (Word)
- How to Work a Room (PDF)
- Social Networking in Plain English (Video)
- Career Hub Guide to Networking (PDF)