Networking

Most networking begins through everyday conversation. Start a conversation with people you meet in your normal routine. Networking accounts for at least 69% of all annual hires (Department of Labor survey). Throughout your life you will make networking contacts that develop into relationships including friends, colleagues, and professional prospects.

Make a Good First ImpressionCareer Fair

  • Introduce yourself and establish rapport
  • Ask questions to learn about the person you are meeting
  • Create a connection between the two of you (“It sounds like we have similar ideas about our fields.”)
  • Wrap up the conversation with a promise to keep in touch

Follow-up

  • Write a brief thank-you note to those you met
  • Keep track of your correspondence with each person in your network

Do…

Don’t…

Thank your network partners and keep in touch with them

Brag or exaggerate the truth in your conversations

Develop lasting relationships, not just contacts

Gossip or share inappropriately with your partners

Always look for ways to help the people in your network

Ask personal questions or questions about money

Ask two important questions: “What is your story?” and “What advice would you have for me as I consider entering this field?”

Ask for a job

Sample Questions

  • What advice would you have for me as I consider entering this field?
  • What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
  • What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
  • Who are the most important people in the industry today?
  • Would you describe your professional journey?
  • How often are people in this field promoted?
  • Is this a growing field?