Developing Your Professional Network

Workshops & Networking Events

Networking is a key part of the road to building your career.

Whether it's a career fair, networking event or even just a simple get together, networking is an important part of putting yourself out there and helping others in the field to better understand who you are as a person and a professional.

Networking can have a positive impact in building your professional career in the following ways:

  • Form connections and relationships with recruiters and other individuals within your company of interest or field
  • Helps you gain a better understanding of the company, position, or profession as a whole
  • Getting your name out there! The more people who know you and are aware of your interests in the field the better your chances of getting the internship or job you desire 

  • Listen thoughtfully and respond appropriately.
  • Be willing to accept constructive criticism and seek out advice.
  • Sell yourself: What relevant skills, courses, internships, accomplishments, and experience will you share?
  • Prepare a 60-second introduction that promotes YOU. Typically, your “introduction” includes your name, area of interest, education, experience, significant accomplishments and current goals.
  • Turn networking opportunities into chances to develop and showcase your interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Be as specific as possible when you talk to people about your career aspirations.
  • Prepare questions that demonstrate your level of interest and professionalism.
  • Consider university personnel with whom you’ve developed relationships, such as faculty, Career Center staff, academic advisors, etc.
  • Do the necessary research to determine appropriate dress for a networking event.
  • Remember your contact’s name!
    Ex. “Nice to meet you, Jackie”.
  • A thank you note is the best way to follow through with a contact whether it is by e-mail or mail.
  • Networking is not only a way to get a job, but also a way to make new friends and connect with professionals in your field.
  • Don’t overlook the multitude of networking opportunities through professional associations, groups, and University sponsored networking nights, career panels, employer tables, and campus recruitment. 

You only have a few minutes to sell yourself to a prospective employer– how do you do it? Hit them with your 60-second introduction.

WHAT IS IT?
Your brief introduction to an employer should advertise your skills and strengths, highlight your education as it relates to the position and be tailored to each situation. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm and personality. Avoid any personal information.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE IT?

  • Job Fairs
  • Networking Events
  • Professional Meetings
  • Informational Interviews
  • Interview questions- “Tell me about yourself”
  • Cover letters

FOLLOW THE FORMULA

  • Name
  • Class (senior, junior, etc.) 
  • Major
  • Opportunities
  • Relevant experience (work, internship, volunteer)
  • Accomplishments highlighting your skills and strengths
  • Knowledge of company 

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Example: Hello, my name is _______________.

I am a (year in school) studying ______ at West eld State University. I'm currently working ____ hours a week.

Last semester, I completed an internship at ________ where I was able to gain experience in cost accounting, cash flow analysis, budget developing and I assisted in preparing client proposals.

My experience with _________ has further prepared me for this opportunity because ___________.