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Networking Like a Boss

(or How to Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Meeting New People)

Professional networking involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, or learn more about your field or another field you'd like to work in. Networking can help you get hired and help you grow your career.

Tips for Successful Networking

Start with warm connections: It can be more comfortable and fruitful to first approach those with whom you have an existing relationship – faculty, classmates, former supervisors, family friends, and neighbors, for example. As part of your conversations, ask who else they might recommend you talk to. Personal introductions are among the best ways to grow your network!

Build rapport: Don’t start by asking for a referral. Instead, take time to build a relationship with the contact first. They’ll need to get to know you as a professional before they feel comfortable recommending you to others.

Frame it as an opportunity to learn: As you build rapport, relish in the opportunity to gain insight into the profession, field, and industry that your contact has established him or herself in. Conducting an “informational interview” is a great way to get insider information about your contact’s career and organization, and gather recommendations for those who wish to follow a similar path.

Follow up the right way: Following your initial conversation, send an email to thank your contact and connect with them on LinkedIn. Should you come across an article or other resource that might be of interest based on your previous conversations, share it by email.

Where to Network