Networking – Introduction

The most common way people find out about and obtain new positions is through other people. Networking is all about people connecting with other people! Individuals in your network can provide advice, information, and support to help you achieve your career goals and aspirations.

  • The purpose of networking is to make people aware that you are looking for work and to get information about possible job opportunities;
  • It is the most successful job searching technique because it is estimated that 85% of jobs are not advertised;
  • The ultimate goal of networking is to meet the person who has the ability to hire you for the job you want.

Do …

  • Identify an organization, job title, career path, or person of interest to you
  • Research the organization and the career path before you speak with your contact
  • Arrange a meeting, ensuring that it is a good time before you speak with your contact
  • Be prepared with a short list of questions or topics
  • Give a quick summary of who you are and what information you want
  • Have a clear goal. State your purpose
  • Ask for information and advice, not a job
  • Be flexible
  • At the meeting, ask for referrals
  • Ask for a resume critique
  • Be courteous – write a thank you note

Don’t …

  • Don’t push yourself on someone who is not interested or able to speak with you
  • Don’t ask personal questions
  • Don’t ask for a job
  • Don’t go over your time limit
  • Don’t go unprepared
  • Don’t interrupt when your contact is speaking
  • Don’t focus entirely on your own needs. You are there to learn
  • Don’t ask the person to pass your resume around for you unless he or she offers
  • Don’t forget to say thank you
  • Don’t be a pest, or call for contact information and referrals after your initial meeting

(Do’s and Don’ts list adapted from Rochester Women’s Network)