Countless available jobs are never advertised (or aren't advertised widely), which is why you need to network to find opportunities. Talk to anyone and everyone about your job search, specifically focus on professionals who are already working in your field. Alumni, faculty, and professional associations are a great place to start.
Ways to Build Your Network
- Career Network Program - The Office of Career Services maintains a database of alumni who volunteer to answer career questions for current students.
- Linked In - Currently the premier website for professional networking, Linked In allows you to create a professional profile and use your personal network for information, introductions to others and recommendations. Check out the Linked In Guide for Grads.
- Young Professionals Groups - In cities
around the country, professionals in their 20's and 30's are organizing their own associations. A great place to network - or to meet people in a new town.
Ask for Ideas, Not Jobs
Most contacts are happy to help students with their professional pursuits, but you have to ask the right questions in the right way. Start by contacting persons in your network and ask if they’re willing to help with some questions related to your job search. If they agree, think carefully about the type of information each contact can offer. Below are some ideas.
Ask professionals out of your field for:
- Contacts in your field
- Recommendations for potential employers to research
Ask professionals in your field for:
- Information on how to get started
- Suggestions for websites to use
- Professional associations worth joining
- Any openings you should consider
- Recommendations or introductions to potential employers
- Other contacts in your field
- Opportunity to job shadow or meet for an information interview
- Ideas for volunteer or internship opportunities