How Do I Network With Employers, Community Partners, and Others?
Networking is an important skill that you can develop to build relationships with professionals, employers, mentors, and others to help support your career development.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2012), 70% of all jobs are found through networking.
To begin, you may want to develop a list of those you already know in your network including family, friends, schoolmates, professors, mentors, supervisors, and etc. so that you can engage them in conversations about career development.
Then, you may want to develop a list of those you would like to get to know such as employers and professional associations. Afterwards you can connect with this new potential network by researching their contact information, websites, yellow pages, and etc.
Additionally, you may want to develop and practice an “elevator speech” which is a quick 1 to 2 minute introduction of yourself including your career interests, goals, and memorable hooks that makes your audience want to build a relationship with you.
Next, you may want to design business cards by using a word processing program such as Word or you may order some online at a low cost in order to pass out during networking efforts.
Also, you may want to join a student club or organization as well as engage your professors in conversations about careers.
Furthermore, you may want to attend career networking events and/or use social networking media to connect to employers, professional association, student clubs/organizations, and others. These career networking events may include career fairs, on-campus recruitment, community events, and etc.
What Career Resources Can Help Me?