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Tuesday, April 22
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Wednesday, April 23
Workshop Wednesday: Graduate School 101

Wednesday, April 23
Workshop Wednesday: Graduate School 101

Networking Tips

Although you should always use every job search resource available, networking will expose you to the largest number of job opportunities in the shortest length of time. Because 75-80% of the job openings are never advertised anywhere, the key to finding a good job is networking! And since networking takes time you should begin developing your professional network as early as possible in your college career. Networking involves building and keeping relationships and it should be beneficial to both parties.

On this page you will find information about:

Developing Professional Networks While In CollegeTop Link

Get work experience while in college! Even short-term and volunteer work experience, as well as internships and co-ops and summer jobs, are valued by employers. These work experiences allow you to network with professionals in your field.

Volunteering

Attend the ISU Volunteer Fair. You will find many organizations that could use your assistance at the fair. You will learn many skills while volunteering that will transfer to your job. In addition you will get to know volunteers from many career areas who may help you secure a job later.

Internships/Co-ops

Students interested in internships and co-ops should contact the Career Center in the Student Services Building, second floor (just above the Health Center). Counselors in the Career Center can assist in your search for a good internship. The Career Center receives many notices of internships from organizations throughout the U.S. Stay in contact with the people you met through your internships and co-ops. They could be good contacts for your future job searches.

Career Fairs

Career Fairs are another good way to make contacts. They allow you to meet a lot of people in a short period of time.

Attend ISU Career Fairs: Career Opportunity Fair (Fall and Spring semesters), Criminology Fair (Spring semester).

Career Fairs are also hosted by large organizations, cities, other colleges, professional organizations, and professional career fair organizations.

  • Research employers who are attending the Career Fair.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Bring resumes to share with employers.
  • Ask employers appropriate questions.
  • Collect business cards. (Write notes on the back to help remember things about each person.)
  • Send thank-you notes.
  • Follow-up with a telephone call to the people you meet at these career opportunity fairs.

Extracurricular Activities

Activities that you participate in outside of the classroom are an excellent way to explore career interests, develop skills, and begin building a network. Clubs and organizations are a good way to make contacts. In the areas of recreation, sports, fitness, and physical education participation in clubs, organizations, and recreational activities is particularly important. Not only are they a good source of contacts, but employers will expect to see these things on your resume.

For a list of ISU clubs and organizations contact the ISU Office of Student Activities and Organizations.

Professional Associations

Join Professional Associations in your field while you are in college. They are one of the best ways to get to know people employed in your field.

GET INVOLVED so that professionals in the associations know who you are.

Talk with your professors to find out what professional associations would be best for you to join.

A great way to become involved with professional associations is to attend local regional, and/or national meetings as often as possible.

Take full advantage of your time at meetings.

Here are some tips:

  • Arrive early and attend a newcomer's session.
  • Join a committee.
  • Give a presentation.
  • Assist with the newsletter (to keep your name in front of colleagues in your field).
  • Attend hospitality sessions.
  • Have lunch and dinner with people you don’t know rather then with friends.
  • Bring plenty of business cards.
  • Obtain business cards and record information about the person on the back for future reference.
  • Attend workshops and clinics in your field.
  • Attend sessions and ask questions.

Contact List

Make a list of the people you know and let them know that you are graduating and make them aware of the type of work you are seeking. Most people want to help. The news about most jobs is spread by word of mouth among:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • College classmates
  • Alumni (stay in contact with friends in your major who graduate.)
  • Faculty - high school and college
  • Coaches
  • Colleagues at work
  • Professional Association acquaintances
  • People from social organizations
  • Church members
  • Career Counselors

Establish a connection with people who work for the companies/organizations that interest you most. Ask them for advice and ask them to tell you if they hear of a job opening in your field. However, do not assume that they know your qualifications. Give them a copy of your resume.

Be clear about what you want them to do for you:

  • Distribute your resume; your business card
  • Give you the names of key people at targeted organizations
  • Introduce you to someone in a position to give you an "inside track"
  • Give you advice on how to approach a specific employer

Be sure to visit any employers they suggest, even if they do not have any current openings.

Employer Research

Make a list of companies/organizations in which you are interested and the names of people that have the power to hire. Be sure to research these organizations well before you do an informational interview.

Informational InterviewsTop Link

Prepare for your informational interview by developing a well-written resume.

  • Learn as much as possible about the organization before the interview. Find out the names of the persons who can hire in your field - managers, directors, and department heads.
  • Learn as much as possible about the person you will interview.
  • Learn the professional jargon in your field.
  • Ask questions which show that you did your research.
  • Develop a list of questions that you want to ask.
  • Dress as you would for a job interview.
  • Make sure you have accurate directions to the place where the interview will be conducted.

Arranging Informational Interviews

Informational interviewing is an excellent way to learn about organizations, typical positions, and to develop contacts for your future job search. This leads to a job for 86 out of every 100 job hunters who try it.*

  • Contact the people who do the hiring - department heads, managers, and directors rather than personnel.
  • Write a letter to make an appointment for an interview, to obtain job information, advice, and referrals. Be sure to tell the person you want to interview the name of the person who referred you.
  • Follow the letter with a phone call to schedule an appointment.

*Richard Bolles in What Color is Your Parachute?

Sample Questions From An Informational Interview

  1. How did you find out about this job?
  2. What do you like most/least about your job? Why?
  3. If you were starting over what would you do differently?
  4. To which professional organizations do you belong?
  5. Where are the best job opportunities with this field?
  6. If I enter this field, what can I do to make myself more marketable?
  7. What criteria do you use to evaluate a candidate when interviewing someone in this field?
  8. What are the trends in this field and how does the future look for this field?
  9. What can I do to improve my resume?
  10. Can you suggest names of people that I should contact to get additional information about this field? How can I contact them? (Always ask if you can use your referral's name.)
  11. What might be the best way to approach prospective employers?
  12. Is there anything I can do for you? (Remember networking is a two-way street.)

Organizing Your Job Search

Maintain detailed records of each networking contact. Be sure to keep track of the following information:
Date of Contact ___________________
Name ___________________
Title ___________________
Organization ___________________
Address ___________________
Phone ___________________
E-mail ___________________
Any Extra Notes: ___________________

Networking Etiquette Workshops (NEW)Top Link

Learn essential skills for developing your professional network and dining in formal situations. Participants have the opportunity to network with professionals in a variety of fields throughout the workshop and five-course meal, providing excellent preparation for professional conferences and interviews.

The ISU Career Center hosts several Networking & Etiquette Workshops each semester. These workshops are intended to help you learn how to effectively develop your professional network and the all-important skills of dining in professional situations.

The skills students learn through these workshops are valuable for social and professional situations, however specific tips are provided to prepare participants for that first interview or professional conference.

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm  A 231 North 6th Walkway

Numbers:
P 812.237.5000   TF 888.892.6044   F 812.237.4392

Email: isu-career-center@mail.indstate.edu