Career and Personal Development


Networking is an essential skill worth developing during your time in college. When utilized appropriately, networking can help you learn more about careers, industries, and jobs.

So, what exactly is networking? In the simplest form, networking is relationship building. People you can network with are all around you including professors, relatives, friends, alumni, etc. Networking begins with simply talking to these people. Everyone you talk to could potentially suggest another person who might help you, and your circle of contacts grows! Networking is most effective when you stay in periodic contact. This way when you seek advice, your networking contacts know you and know something about you.


There are many ways to begin your journey of networking. A few ways you can start to build relationships include attending career fairs, association meetings, networking events, lectures, volunteering, and informational interviews. You can also create an online presence with professional social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Below are a few tips to assist you with your networking.


1. Stay organized! Create an Excel spreadsheet or keep a folder of names, business cards, contact information, etc.


2. Follow up periodically with your newly made contact to keep your relationship relevant and up-to-date.


3. Be prepared to discuss your skills and abilities. Prepare a short “elevator speech” describing who you are, your skills, and your future plans.


4. Be yourself! No need to act like someone you are not. Just remember to be polite, respectful of others, and articulate.



1. Flat out ask for a job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. But those people are not approaching each contact asking for a job! Remember, networking is an on-going process of relationship building. Through your efforts, you may hear about opportunities or someone may inquire about your skills.


2. Lie! Lies will come back to haunt you. It is never OK to put false information about yourself on your resume or social media accounts.


3. Randomly connect with individuals, especially on social media. There should be a reason you are reaching out to someone. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor if you are unsure how to go about connecting with someone you do not know.