What is Networking?
An association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information and the like (dictionary.com). Think of a network of computers; the computers are continually sending information back and forth to one another the same is true for professional networking.
Network to build mutually beneficial relationships that will help you learn about careers in a particular field/industry/employer, to identify potential opportunities, and to prepare for interviews.
- Good eye contact
- A welcoming presence with a strong greeting
- A friendly smile
- Be ready with your 30-second commercial, be sure to include...
■ Name, education, career-related experiences
■ Activity involvement both on and off campus
■ Skills, strengths, and accomplishments
- Establish a connections (ask open-ended questions)
Almost any social occasion can be used as a networking opportunity. Make sure to take advantage of the events held on campus, popular social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and relevant professional organizations. For professional organizations related to your area of career interest check out the Career Community page connected to that industry.
|Send thank you notes & follow up with your connections
|Ask for jobs or internships
|Be grateful for an individual's time
|Treat networking like a formal job interview
|Reach out to referrals that come from your connections
|Communicate informally, like you would with your friends
|Request feedback on your resume
|Spontaneously make up questions
|Ask to stay in contact & connect on LinkedIn
|Be pushy or assuming
Suggested questions for starting conversations:
● Hello my name is___, how are you today?
● How are you affiliated with UD and what brought you to this event?
● What is your role in ______ organization?
● How did you come to work for ________ organization?
● What is one of your favorite things about your job?
● How do you think most employees would describe your workplace?
● Is there anyone else with whom you recommend I connect with?
Suggested phrases for leaving conversations:
● It’s been great talking with you. Would you be open to a follow-up meeting when you next come to campus?
● I appreciate your time & would like to keep in touch. May I have your contact info?
● Thanks for your time. Can I send you a LinkedIn invitation to further connect?
- Join LinkedIn to build your profile and professional network. To find articles and videos that will help you in optimizing your profile, learn how to network and navigate the LinkedIn experience use the LinkedIn for Students page.
- Assess your digital identity using multiple search engines. Determine if your online profiles are in line with how you want people to see you, as employers/recruiters may do a thorough online search before determining if they want to connect with you.
- Students may create a free account at Resume Worded . Once logged in, select the “Networking Emails” tab to obtain email templates + samples with the following topics:
- Following up after a career fair
- Following up with a hiring manager after applying
- Following up after not getting a response
- Reconnecting with an old contact
- Following up after meeting an employer
- Following up with a recruiter
- Following up after a networking event
- Following up after not getting a response
An informational Interview is a meeting with a professional (either in person or over the phone) where you can ask questions about their career path. This is your opportunity to gather data that can be useful in your career choice and/or job search.
- Research and identify a career field of interest
- Check out the UD page on LinkedIn to find UD alumni and friends in those fields
- Utilize your contacts- family friends, supervisors, professors, and former employees are great people to talk to in case they may know someone who works in the field you want to learn more about
- Contact a professional organization in the field you are interested in and see if they have a mentoring program
- Identify and write to a person you are looking to connect with. When introducing yourself to professionals to whom you were referred or are requesting an informational interview of, you will need to craft a brief introductory email or phone call. This email, and all other email communications with professionals, should convey appreciation and be written in a professional business style.
Sample Networking Email with UD Alumni:
Dear Mr. or Ms._________________________:
As a junior at the University of Delaware majoring in exercise science, I found your profile on the Blue Hen Career Network in LinkedIn and noticed that you work in the same field that I am interested in entering. I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to talk with you for 15 minutes to ask some questions that I have prepared and obtain some career advice.
Would there be a convenient time for you to talk over the phone or in-person within the next two weeks? I would be grateful for any career advice you could share and look forward to hearing back from you.
- How did you choose your career?
- What academic path do you pursue to obtain your career goals?
- What type(s) of positions do people with my major have in your organization?
- What are some suggestions for someone who would like to work for an organization like yours?
- What skills do you need to be successful in this job?
- Have you made a career change? If yes, what was it?
- What is the hiring procedure when vacancies occur?
- Do you know of anyone else with whom I should speak?
- What are some common career paths in this field?
- I’ve read that the entry-level salary range for this field is usually in the range of ______? Does this fit with what you’ve seen? (Don’t ask about the person’s actual salary.)
The UD Career Center is part of the Division of Student Life, which advances equity and inclusion, deepens student learning and drives holistic development through education, experiences and communities.