Many jobs are found through networking or a combination of networking and job searching.
What is Networking?
Networking is gaining connections to real people (not computers) who know of opportunities sometimes before they are even posted (hidden job market) or can lead you to meet people who may know of openings.
Find alumni contacts or join relevant groups on LinkedIn (see Online Presence).
Join a professional organization in your field.
Meet and interact with professionals at conferences. Attend prepared with questions or topics of discussion in your field.
Volunteer in your field or in your community.
Talk to the people you know about exactly what you're seeking (job title, location, etc.).
Meet and interact with K-State faculty in your field.
Talk to colleagues at a part-time job, internship, or co-op. Let them know what you are seeking.
Reach beyond your immediate contacts to get to their contacts. LinkedIn is great for this.
Join an undergraduate research team in your field.
Connect with other students (and future colleagues) in your classes. Introduce yourself and connect on LinkedIn.
- Exchange business cards then connect on LinkedIn.
Use the resume and interview guide for examples of what to say and how to follow-up when approaching a networking connection. The goal is to interact with a connection to learn more about your field, a particular city, or an organization not to immediately ask them for a job (or if they know of openings).
Once you have made a networking connection, how do you stay in contact?
Connect to a networking contact and/or their organization on LinkedIn.
Send a hand-written thank you note to the contact.
Pay attention to what the employee or company is doing in the news, etc. Send a note of congratulations.
Invite a contact to an event, show, or presentation on campus.
Find ways to make the relationship beneficial to both parties. Avoid focusing the conversation on you all the time.
Understand when you are crossing the line into being a pest.
You do not have to be in contact every day, week, or even month to consider that person a relevant connection. Do stay in contact once a semester or so.
Consider asking a connection to be a professional mentor (after you have interacted on a few occasions).