There is quite the buzz about networking these days. You are likely hearing that the majority of job openings are filled by networking contacts and referrals. You can call it connecting, making contacts, meeting and greeting, or even linking up. No matter what term you use, you must make networking a part of your job search. Simply put, networking can be defined as “socializing for professional gain.”
It is important that you begin to develop your professional network, no matter where you are on your career path. Treat everyone you encounter as a potential part of your professional network. You may be surprised where an important lead comes from.
Everyone you know and everyone they know is part of your network. Use the following categories to help identify people in your network.
- Close relatives and extended family
- Friends, neighbors, parents of classmates
- Classmates, professors, counselors, alumni, fraternity/sorority/organization members
- Employers, colleagues, clients, suppliers, competitors
- Professional contacts, including lawyers, doctors, dentists, clergy, bankers, professional societies
- Community contacts, such as store owners, chamber of commerce members, newspaper editors, librarians, public officials
Visit the Career Center website here for additional networking and informational interviewing tips.