Career and Job Search Guide

Job and Career Networking

Since many jobs are never advertised, networking is an effective way to find a job. Employers prefer to interview and hire people recommended by current employees, family, or friends.

To build your network, you need to practice good networking etiquette, develop effective communication skills, and prepare yourself for unforeseen opportunities.

Build and expand your network
  • Visit or become a member of a professional association related to the field you want to work in. Members are usually eager to help job seekers and are often aware of open positions.
  • Find a person to help you with experience in the field you want to work in. Ask them for advice and discuss your ideas with them. If possible, accompany them at their jobs.
  • Speak with friends, family members, professors, and former supervisors. Take these opportunities to promote yourself to the people who know you best.
Follow good networking etiquette
  • Continually seek opportunities to help those working with you. Be prepared to reward those taking time out of their schedule to assist you with your job hunt.
  • While conducting your job hunt, ask for information about the job you are interested in, not for a job.
  • Always follow through with your promises. If you tell someone you will call, be sure to call them. It is your responsibility to contact them, so if they are difficult to reach, keep trying until you get a hold of them.
Practice effective communication
  • Make phone calls or prepare brief notes to keep your contacts updated about your job search.
  • Send potential employers a thank-you note within a day of an interview.
  • Keep your conversations sociable but professional. Briefly summarize your goals, and then explain how previous achievements will help you meet your goals.
Be prepared for unexpected opportunities
  • When networking, you will frequently meet new people. You should be prepared to discuss your strengths and objectives with these new contacts.
  • Carry business cards and copies of your resume wherever you go since opportunities can exist anywhere.