University at Albany

Networking Tips

Some suggestions on how to get the most out of networking

Check back each day to see more tips.

  1. Decide on your goals before reaching out to someone
    Are you looking to get some specific information or to build a relationship. Networking can have both short term and long term goals.  Long term goals are to build specific relationship that may help you some time in the future.  Look for people who work in the industry you plan to enter or the job type you are considering. In the short term, networking can help with specific information.   Does your contact know someone at a specific company, have information about a problem you are trying to solve, or the name of a contact with whom you can do an in formational interview.
  2. Register with UCAN
    This is an on-line career advisement network of world-wide alumni managed by the Alumni Association.  After you register you can search for alumni by industry, company, etc. and connect with them for informational interviews, advice and networking. This program is open to all sophomores, juniors, seniors and grad students.
  3. Start with your current circle of acquaintances and ask then for introductions to new people
    We all know people in different career fields. Friends and family members might be able to help you get a contact for an informational interview.
  4. Take advantage of networking events while in college so you can develop your
    Networking events that are hosted by Career Services and other campus organizations are designed to give you a chance to practice networking. Professionals that are invited understand that you are just learning how to network. Join us on Nov 1st for College to Career, How did she do it?
  5. Use LinkedIn, specifically joining discussion groups in LinkedIn
    You have created your LinkedIn profile – now what? Now you should start joining groups. Pick groups of people who share your professional interests.
  6. Follow up after career fairs and other networking events
    You don’t need to follow up with everyone, just the ones you want to stay connected with. Thank them for their time and ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Mention something of the conversation you had so that they know who you are.
  7. Do informational interviews
    The quickest way to get the best information about a career is to talk to someone who already has that career. Questions you can ask
  8. If you are at a networking event with a friends, split up to
    It is OK to go to an event with your friends but when it comes time to meet new people, do it alone. You need to build a relationship with this new person and that needs to be done one-on-one. When you try to network as a group, most of the group will be left out of the process.
  9. Use targeted questions
    When you need help from a networking contact be as specific as possible with your request. They will have a easier time helping you if you are clear and concise. Instead of asking them to “let me know if you hear anything” instead ask if they know anyone at a particular company where you want to apply.
  10. Don’t wait – start today
    Networking doesn’t get you a job, the relationships you build while networking can help you find job opportunities and have a better chance of being considered for them. Now is the time to build the relationship you can use later on. So start now and don’t ever stop!