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, doctor, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
Benefits of Learning to Network
- Introduce you to a wide range of people with different skills, knowledge and links to further contacts
- Extend your circle of business and personal acquaintances
- 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
What is an 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.
What information should I include?
Your college, major, and your academic interests.
Your area of interest and what type of career you are looking for.
Example: "Hi my name is Kate and I am a Global Studies student at UW Bothell. I am in my junior year and looking for an internship in a non-profit that does work in Africa or South America. Last summer I worked for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans and I hope to join the Peace Corps after graduation."
Kate has given a introduction to who she is and what she is looking for; the primary goal is to start a conversation that leads to a connection with that person or someone they know.
Example: The following 5 minute video describes how to develop and prepare for an elevator speech.
An informational interview 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. Learn more!
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 an Informational Interview 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
- Career and Social Sites such as FaceBook and LinkedIn can provide professional networking opportunities
- Through your internship
- Visit your professors office hours and ask for contacts and connections
- The Seattle Networking Guide: connecting people and companies with Seattle's top groups and events for professional, civic & social networking
- 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