Enhance your career exploration or job search by networking with as many people as you can. Effective networking can increase your chance of finding a job.

Networking is a way to make contacts not get jobs. These contacts may eventually lead to job opportunities. Contacts may be a way to learn about careers, industries, or jobs.

Everyone you know is a potential networking contact; your parents, friends, friends’ parents, doctors, relatives, neighbors and co-workers, etc.

Benefits of learning to network

Networking will:

  • Introduce you to a wide range of people with different skills, knowledge and links to further contacts
  • Extend your circle of professional and personal connections
  • Provide you with sources of information and a forum for sharing ideas
  • Give you access to advice on a wide range of subjects
  • Reveal new career opportunities
  • Support you in professional and personal challenges

Create your elevator speech

An elevator speech is a 30 second personal introduction. This gives you an opportunity to provide everyone you come in contact with the most important information about you.

Career conversation

A career conversation involves talking with people who are currently working in the field to gain a better understanding of an occupation or industry – and to build a network of contacts in that field. It is an informal way for you to learn about company culture, day to day tasks of a job, and career paths. Think of these as getting coffee or tea with a new acquaintance to learn more about their career path and experience in the field.

Effective networking

The more people who know you are looking for information, a job, or a resource, the more effective your networking will be.

Ways to network

  • Conduct a career conversation with an alum or professional currently working in the field
  • Join LinkedIn, create a profile and network with employers, alumni, and colleagues
  • Attend a Career Fair and talk to employer representatives about jobs available in their organization and opportunities for you
  • Join a Professional Organization
  • Volunteer
  • Career and Social Networking Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Meetup can provide professional networking opportunities
  • Through your internship
  • Visit your professors office hours and ask for contacts and connections
  • Create an action plan that demonstrates your skills, expertise and what you are looking for. This marketing tool will provide valuable information for those in your network.
    Accounting Action Plan
    Software Engineer Action Plan
    Global Studies Action Plan

Watch this video for tips on using LinkedIn to build your network

A video guide on using LinkedIn to build your network