What is Networking?
Networking is an information exchange between you and another person. It involves establishing relationships with people who can help you advance your career in many ways.
Benefits of Networking
- “Inside information“ on what's happening in your field of interest, such as an organization's plan to expand operations or release a new product.
- Job search advice specific to your field of interest (where the jobs are typically listed).
- Tips on your job hunting tools (resume and /or portfolio).
- Names of people to contact about possible employment or informational interviews.
- Follow-up interview and a possible job offer.
Nervous about networking? Read this handout on Networking for Introverts: Tips for Success.
Build Your Network
Here are ways to find people to network with.
Your Personal Network
- Consider: your family, friends, roommates, significant others, SJSU faculty and staff, alumni, past and present co-workers, neighbors, club and organization and association members, people at the gym, people at the local coffee house and neighborhood store, and people in your religious community.
- Ask your contacts to introduce you to their contacts and keep your list growing.
- Opportunities to network with people arise at any time and any place. Never underestimate an opportunity to make a connection.
Professional Associations/Professional Journals
- Many of these associations have job listings and are also a good way to network with people working in a career field that interests you. Find local branches, join, and become active! Check out these websites for listings of associations by career field.
- Listservs, blogs, and emails, are generated by many sources including academic departments, yahoo groups, professional associations etc., and are a great way to tap into career information and job listings.
Online Social Networking
There are a number of online networking websites where you can make great professional contacts.
Knowing What to Say
When interacting with others, read the following tips about your one-minute commercial/elevator pitch and conducting an informational interview.
One Minute Commercial
- When introducing yourself, know how to give a one-minute commercial/elevator pitch about yourself.
- Read this conversation starter handout to learn how to connect with employers.
- Informational interviews are meetings you schedule with people to learn about their job or industry. Conduct informational interviews with people in the careers of your interest.
- Read this handout to learn about conducting an informational interview.
- When interacting with others, be aware of your professional etiquette.