What is Networking?

Networking/Informational Interviews

Networking is connecting with individuals who are in a certain industry, profession, service or geographical area in which you wish to work. By connecting with these individuals, you are able to gather information about their careers. Networking can help facilitate informational interviews. These informational interviews can occur at conferences, meetings for professional associations, social events, or one-on-one meetings at the contact’s business.

Benefits of Networking

  1. Learning. By speaking with professionals you will receive first-hand knowledge and the latest information about the particular job you are interested in. This allows you to learn what happens in this position beyond what it says in the textbook.
  2. Beyond Job Titles. You are able to see what skills are required for the position and how you might fit in the work environment. Job titles alone do not provide you with this important information.
  3. Low-Stress Meetings. Informational meetings are low stress compared to job interviews because you are “in control” of the interview. You are able to determine the direction of the meeting by the questions you ask.
  4. Create Contacts. By meeting people in various jobs, you are exposed to different kinds of industries. This will help you build your network of contacts for the future. These contacts could potentially lead you to a job. Eighty percent of jobs are found in the “hidden market,” which means these jobs are not even posted on the company’s website or other job sites. Networking will allow you to hear about these positions.
     

Who could I include in “My Network?

  • Southwest Minnesota State University Alumni could provide you with a wealth of knowledge. Here at Southwest Minnesota State University we offer multiple ways to connect with them. One way is to connect through LinkedIn and the other is using the Regional Network Link . LinkedIn is a means of social networking that allows individuals to connect with experienced professionals from around the world. The Regional Network Link is a list of alumni from around the United States who have volunteered their time to serve as ambassadors for SMSU and support the University through alumni interaction.
  • Professors and academic advisors can be other helpful resources. They have knowledge about specific disciplines because of research projects, former students, and community involvement.
  • Friends, family, co-workers, coaches, and acquaintances. Casually talking with people could open a lot of doors. Most people enjoy talking about what they do and you never know what could happen.
  • People you have heard about. Lecturers, employers, and prominent people in the community are all other great people to add to your network.

Last Modified: 9/14/17 2:50 PM