What is networking?
Networking is really about developing relationships! Most importantly, remember that you are not asking for a job when networking. Instead, you can share your aspirations and make real connections with individuals so that they not only remember you because of your qualifications but also because of your personality and other positive attributes.
- Start with who you already know; this includes parents and family, friends, former coop employers, and co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, faculty, advisors, fellow students, community and religious groups.
- Attend Employer Engagement and Career Design events such as Career Fairs, Industry networking events, and Employer and Alumni presentations are great ways to make new connections.
- Join professional organizations, especially campus chapters and attend conferences; this is a great way to stay current in your field and meet other professionals.
- Are you LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the premier professional networking site. Join for free and start connecting. See our LinkedIn page, join the Employer Engagement and Career Design group and Northeastern Alumni Group and attend LinkedIn 1: Write Your Story, and LinkedIn 2: The Hidden Power of LinkedIn: Advanced Networking workshops offered weekly both on the ground and virtually.
- Web and print material; review professional journals, newsletters, and websites to help you identify people who are active in the field.
- Northeastern Online Alumni Directory; there are more than 200,000 alumni listed, most of whom would love to help a fellow Husky. You can access the Online Directory through the Alumni Relations website.
Maintaining Your Network
- Try to stay in touch with your contacts every few months by sending a friendly email. For example, you could see how your contact is enjoying his/her summer, holiday, etc., and fill them in (briefly) on some relevant academic or professional updates that you have. You could also be in touch if you notice that they’ve written an article, or were recently promoted, etc.
- Additionally, if you secure your new position, select your major, or have chosen your career path, notify the people you’ve spoken with; they’ll want to hear what happened and know how you are doing.