Networking Strategies

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Networking Tools

Before you jump into building your professional network, create the tools necessary to maximize your impact. Some tools are must-haves, and some are nice but not necessary depending on the type of networking contact you will have.  


Regularly update your resume so that you are prepared to send it to a networking contact. See our Resume Guide for additional information.


Your academic studies have prepared you well for the research aspect of networking! Whether preparing for an informational interview or a real job interview, it is important to gather specific information about the companies you are targeting. The information could include primary products, culture, industry trends, competitors, job postings, press releases, and any other relevant information from their company website, Internet searches, print articles, online articles, or visual media. 

Here are two steps you can complete as you research a specific position or company:

In-Person Networking

If you’re interested in an organization, ask what they look for in an ideal candidate. Share your skills, interests, and experiences (including coursework!), tying to specific needs of the employer if you can.  Be an active listener to pick up on what they are looking for, and you’ll be able to convey how you can fulfill their needs. 

professional associations

Professional associations seek to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest. They have their own websites, but may also maintain a group presence on LinkedIn. Many of the LinkedIn associations accept members without requiring credentials. Research the associations relevant to your field of study through your mentor, professors, and career service professionals.  

Here are some tips for discovering professional associations in your field: 

online presence

Image Is Everything

Be aware of your overall online image across all of your social media accounts. Employers and potential interviewers may be able to see what you post and how you respond to others. Therefore, keep all of your posts professional, and put in extra effort to communicate clearly.

Even if you think you are posting to a limited network your friends who see those posts can screenshot and repost your information to their network, making it visible to a fellow employee, your current employer, and perhaps a potential future employer.  

Be mindful, too, of what your profile pictures and other featured photos on your social media accounts say about you. Even if, best case scenario, potential employers cannot see your posts or personal page, they will still be able to see your profile picture. 

Privacy Settings

With all this in mind, the Career Center has one firm recommendation regarding social media and your job search: keep all of your profiles locked with the strictest privacy settings while you are on the job market.

The only exception to this rule is if you are an artist, creative writer, influencer, or future organizer or recruiter for political campaigns; in these situations, your social media profiles may be integral to showing off your work, your brand, and connecting with others in your field. If this is your situation, we recommend working hard to maintain a professional tone, image, and brand