When you’re networking, your goal is to build a community of mentors you can reach out to for advice.
How to Reach Out
The hardest part of networking is reaching out. While we have lots of in-person and online tools at our disposal, the first approach is potentially nerve-wracking. Your job is to make a great first impression and share with your contact what you hope to get out of the conversation.
Quick Tips Include:
- Ask for an introduction from a mutual acquaintance, if you can. Career Works staff, Career Channels coordinators, and faculty and staff advisors can help you connect with people in your field.
- Share why you’re asking this person for help. What expertise can they provide? What areas of their background are you hoping to learn more about?
- Suggest a way to connect. Are you able to meet in person? Would you prefer to meet by phone or Zoom? Suggest a way to meet and an expected (and reasonable) amount of time that the conversation will take. A good informational interview takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Reach out to multiple contacts. Your dream contact may not be readily available for a conversation, so make sure to reach out to lots of people.
- Say thank you. After the conversation takes place, remember to thank the person for their time with a quick email or handwritten note! They’ll be more likely to refer you to other people if you take the extra time to express your gratitude.
Connect with Alumni
At Career Works, we encourage you to connect with alumni as the building blocks for your professional networks. Meet with a staff member to discuss how to reach out to alumni in your field.
LinkedIn is a networking tool that, when used effectively, can help college students connect with professionals and search for a job. It is never too early to start your networking and searching, since cultivating a professional network takes time and effort. If you need help navigating LinkedIn, make an appointment with a Career Works staff member to get started.
Joining a Channel
A Career Channel prepares you for your aspiration and career path, while providing you with dedicated guides. You’ll find mentors, suggested courses, internship and field experiences, and expertly curated connections between majors, interests, and industries. The Career Channel coordinators can connect you with alumni and friends of the college that you can talk to. Check out the available channels to learn more.
Questions? Need help?
Want to connect with someone in your field? Come talk with a Career Works advisor to develop your network.