Up to 75% of job openings are never advertised. Instead, these positions are filled by people who hear about the job informally - often through networking.
Plain and simple, networking is talking with people about their job, future openings, the company they are employed by, as well as discussing how your background and skills might fit the career field or company.
A few suggestions to consider as you start developing your career network:
• As a job seeker, the more opportunities you have to network, the better your chance of hearing about unadvertised job openings.
• Networking will provide insight on the working environment which in turn will help you make good career choices.
• Networking can happen in a casual environment, a professional setting or in formally structured networking events.
• Prepare your "elevator pitch" or personal introduction including name, major, year in school, interest areas and general career goals.
• Develop a list of general questions to ask to learn about an individual's job, career path and place of employment.
• Send a thank you note to those who provide information and referrals.
• Maintain an organized list of your contacts for future reference.
Register with an online Professional Social Network such as LinkedIn.
For more detailed information on this topic, review the Networking Handout.
Bureau of Labor and Statistics - Informational Interviewing
Quint Careers - Informational Interviewing
Career One Stop - Form a Network
ISEEK - Networking
Saints Career Network