Career Center > Jobs & Internships > Networking & Connections
Have you heard the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” It’s as true as ever. Developing and continuously expanding your professional network is a crucial aspect of exploring, launching and advancing your career.
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.
DePaul created the
Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Network to help students connect with university alumni for career advice and insight. Here, you can search for and connect with alumni, set up conversations with alumni mentors, join discussion forums, and participate in group chats.
With over 600 million users across the globe, LinkedIn is the go-to resource for professional networking. Get started with this
profile checklist and
How to Network on LinkedIn guide.