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
- Manchester Connect – Career and Professional Development partners with Alumni Relations to maintain 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.
- Professional Associations - Use this directory or a search engine to locate associations related to you field of interest.
- 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