(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
Where to Network