Networking & LinkedIn
Networking is about building relationships — connecting with someone else. Your goal is not to get a job or internship, your goal is to find out what would benefit that other person, and understand what you might be able to offer.
Why should you network?
Networking is the most effective way to find a job or internship. The more people you know, the more resources you have for information or opportunities that might interest you.
- 80% of jobs are never advertised. You may only be exposed to 20% of available jobs.
- Most employers would prefer to hire a person referred by a colleague, peer, or friend.
- The overall amount of time it takes for you to find a job can be drastically reduced (estimated to be 4-6 months if you network as opposed to 6-9 months using other job search methods).
- The referral process can put you in contact with key people you might otherwise never meet.
- You learn more about your field of interest and various occupations within it, as well as specific organizations, which may help you in choosing a major or career path.
- Your network can be maintained for years to come and be used repeatedly as you go through job changes later in life.
How do I establish a network?
Generate a list of companies and types of positions you are interested in. Brainstorm, categorize and prioritize the names of people you think can put you in touch with someone in those companies or positions. LinkedIn is a great resource where you can find connections online all over the globe. Essentially it is a Facebook for professionals where you can fill out your profile with your professional experiences, join online groups and forums in your areas of interest, and create connections with professionals across all industries.
There are so many opportunities to get involved in any field or industry. Most likely, there will be a national, state, and even local organization affiliated with your major. Be sure to talk with faculty and professionals in the field to learn about organizations you should be participating in. Joining organizations will allow you to engage in professional development opportunities that you can put on your resume, gain an understanding of the expectations within your field, and also provide an opportunity to connect with professionals creating your personal network.
LinkedIn is a great resource where you can find connections online all over the globe. Essentially, it is a Facebook for professionals where you can fill out your profile with your professional experiences, join online groups and forums in your areas of interest, and create connections with professionals across all industries. Here are some videos promoted by LinkedIn on how to effectively use their service!