Online job searches and social media have made job hunting easy and accessible, but 80 percent of all jobs are still found through networking. This process is key to researching and finding a career that is perfect for you. Networking allows a person to connect with people of similar interests and build relationships. People hire and refer people they like and know. Having the ability to build a network can lead to a dream job.
Southern Utah University’s Career Center offers advice on how to build a network. Their services help students and community members tap into networks, refine elevator pitches, and take opportunities when given.
Build a Network
Talk with friends and family, build relationships from people they know
The people who know you best will be able to help the most. Friends and family can offer connections that will best suit your needs.
Maintain relationship with past employers and co-workers
New employers love reaching out to old employers. Maintain good connections with those you have worked with and under because they will be contacted.
Build and maintain relationships with classmates and professors
You never know who has the connection you need. Classmates are going through the same process as you and professors have already worked through it. Utilize those around you to help build a network.
Reach out to SUU Alumni using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool
Alumni bases are strong networks with which you are automatically connected. Take the time to reach out to other members of T-Bird Nation, as they have walked your same path.
Join networking groups such as Toastmasters, Meetup, or Tagged
These tools are great ways to reach a broader range of people you might not have otherwise met. Utilize these tools to tap into networks you have not already touched.
Job Networking Tips
Tap your network
When looking for a job, utilize your network first. Those around you can get a foot in the door with potential employers, helping you secure a job.
Connect with Alumni
As mentioned before, the SUU Alumni network is a great way to meet people who have been in your same shoes. Take the time to connect and have your college connections take you new places.
Surround yourself with people who do the work you want to do
Getting an internship, job shadowing, or visiting companies you are interested in allows you to get your name out there. Make connections by starting at the bottom and working your way to the top.
Conduct informational interviews with individuals in the company or industry you want to work
A lot of employers will take the time to meet with students to discuss their line of work. If interested in a specific career, reach out to ask questions and learn more.
Develop your personal 30-second “elevator pitch”
These pitches are great for all networking. When visiting a company, the elevator pitch is how you are remembered. Take the time to perfect it and let people know who you are.
The key to networking is follow up, follow up, follow up!
If you have reached out and not heard back, contact them again. Contact does not have to be a big, formal conversation. A simple call to a family member or email to an employer is a way to start a chain reaction.
Visit the Career Center’s website to read tips for effective networking and tips for navigating a networking event.