CAREER NETWORKING TIPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
Approximately 70-75 % of most jobs are found through networking.
WHAT IS NETWORKING?
Networking is the process of talking with people about your career goals and asking them for information about their jobs, companies, or for names of other people you can meet with to discuss career options. It does not mean asking for a job, although an opening may develop from meeting someone.
- Gain knowledge of specific jobs and career options
- Make contacts for referrals in the job search process
- Refine your interview skills
- Increase confidence in your chosen field
- Learn behaviors of professional in your field
Step 1: Know Yourself
Knowing yourself better will enable you to talk easily with greater confidence to your networking contacts. Take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions to determine your skills, interests, accomplishments and goals:
- What are your greatest accomplishments?
- Of what are you most proud?
- What are the skills or experiences that enable you to achieve these accomplishments?
- What interests you professionally and personally?
- What courses, work experiences, or activities do you enjoy?
- What do you dislike doing?
- What is important to you?
- Is it helping others?
- Is it working in a creative environment?
- Are positions of influence and authority attractive to you?
- Do you want to work independently, or as part of a close-knit team?
Step 2: What is your purpose in contacting your network?
- Exploring majors and career direction
- Gathering information about jobs and careers of interest to you
- Obtain advice on how to conduct your job search and to get job leads
Step 3: Who do you know?
- Members of professional organizations
- Members of club/organization of which you belong
- Internet on-line discussion groups, chat rooms, web based networks
- Other contacts: high school teachers, family doctor/dentist, clergy
- UTC Alumni
- Parents & other family members, friends, neighbors
- Parents of classmates/roommates
- Professors & advisors
- Current & former employers
- Guest speakers & career fair representatives
ADDITIONAL NETWORKING TIPS
- Volunteer and get involved in organizations that spark your interest.
- Gain hands on experience in your chosen field with an internship.
- Get a part-time job in an environment in which you’re planning to spend most of your career.
- Adopt a mentor. (Check out the Alumni Career Mentor Program in the UTC Career & Student Employment Center).
- Get to know your professors. They can be an invaluable source of advice, guidance, and networking.
- Join professional student organizations and meet many influential professionals within your industry.