Overall, 70 percent of jobs in today’s market are found through networking and more and more organizations are looking to internal referrals for hires.
Networking means tapping into and expanding the group of people you know in order to build relationships and gather information about various industries, companies, and (potentially) job leads. It is important to build and sustain your network even when you aren’t looking for a job or internship.
Strengthen Your Current Network
Who do you already know? Think about friends, family, professors, co-workers, and acquaintances that you already interact with: this is your network. Make it a habit to sustain these relationships even when you don’t need help with something.
Build Upon Your Current Network
Taking the time to meet and interact with new people will expand your network. Each person in that network also has his or her own network that you can potentially tap into: this is your extended network. Interested in a specific industry? Join a professional organization. You can also participate in CAC Programs and Events to meet professionals or request alumni contact information from the Foresters Helping Foresters Network (see right).
Conduct Informational Interviews
Informational interviewing is a way of making contacts and gathering information about a certain career field. Speaking with professionals can help you to better evaluate if a career in that field is indeed one in which you would be happy and productive. When taking part in informational interviewing, keep in mind you are seeking information, not a job. Click here for a full informational interviewing guide.