Shaking Hands

Networking

Networking is one of the most efficient and effective ways to find employment, and is a priceless resource in your career development path. Career networking is a constant, ongoing process. Your career network should be in place for when you need it, for job searching, graduate or professional school, moving to a new location and throughout your career.  The Career Center recommends you start building your network early in college and continue it throughout your career.

  • Why have a network?
    • Find job/internship opportunities and doorway to hidden markets
    • Referrals to industries, professionals, and contacts
    • Relocating to new areas 
    • Insider information
    • Advice, tips, suggestions
    • Help get your foot in the door 
    • Gathering information about your career
    • Informational interviewing and job shadowing opportunities    
    • It’s worth the time: According to recent employment surveys, we are finding between 60-80% of job seekers crediting networking to helping them find (or land) a job

  • How networking can help with your job/internship search
    • Find highly desired and unadvertised jobs. Many employers go through friends or coworkers to fill positions before they advertise the job.  
    • Getting referred to a job from a contact gives you an edge on other applicants.  
    • Contacts can provide referrals or insider information about companies. They can provide information on career fields you might want to explore.  
    • Your network can give you advice on where to look for jobs or to review your resume.

  • Types of career networks: Who and what to include
    • Anyone who can assist you with a job search or in your educational or career plans.  
    • Career Center staff, professors, advisors, UI alumni, the greater Vandal family and community, friends and classmates
    • Professionals working in your field
    • Past and present co-workers and supervisors
    • Student and professional associations
    • Local organizations (e.g., young professional networks) 
    • Social media (e.g., LinkedIn)
    • Attend Vandal Networking Nights, employer on-campus recruiting events, job and graduate school fairs.

    Networking involves many layers and degrees of separation, remember to think outside the box.  Include and reach out to your doctor, dentist, or other medical professional, your barber or hair stylist, the local barista, airline personnel, your local corner store, just to name a few.  

    These are people that intersect with many of the exact people you will want to (or should) know through their everyday occupations, and who have a lot of insider information and leads.  You never know who may be connected to the people in your network, or who can help open a career door for you!

  • Networking Resources
    • LinkedIn The world's largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Their mission is simple: connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful through people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.
    • The Riley Guide Networking tips and pointers, tips for social media etiquette, and advice for networking at conferences and meetings.
    • The Career Key Advice on building a network in five steps.
    • Quintessential Careers Article on the art of career and job-search networking, and critical networking tools for job-seekers

As always, Career Center advisors are available to assist in helping you establish or further develop your career network.