Resources for Networking:
Networking can seem overwhelming. But this about all of the professionals that you already know! Your parents, parents’ friends, friends’ parents, fellow classmates, SMC alum, faculty members, past supervisors, internship providers, the random person that you spoke with on the plane when you last flew somewhere…anyone can be in your network!
However, it is often nerve-racking to begin the initial contact for asking someone for guidance or a recommendation. Some tips to get you started include:
- Introduce yourself! Remind them how they know you or how you know them and then provide a quick update on your school, your major, or life depending on the last time you saw them or spoke with them and how comfortable your relationship is.
- Let them know you are beginning your job or internship search. Indicate the field in which you are interested to get their minds going.
- Ask them if there is a time where you can speak with them in-person about particular types of positions or fields. People generally enjoy giving advice so soak up all that you can get!
- Ask them if they would be willing to direct you to companies or additional contacts where you may further investigate opportunities. If they direct you to someone they know, ask if either they can introduce you or if they would be willing to let you use their name when you contact them.
- Let them know that you will follow-up with them and let them know what became of their lead.
- Send them a thank you note. While a handwritten note is always appreciated, in today’s world, a professional, well written email is also appropriate.
Remember, others are generally willing to help because someone probably helped them at some point during their career. Make sure that you maintain a positive relationship with them because you may need to ask them for advice again someday! Networking is about building relationships with contacts NOT just getting your résumé into the workplace.