The dictionary's definition of networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions. Connections are a great part of your future plans and are extremely helpful when looking for a job. In Career Services we have resources that can help you with your networking. These resources include:

The Career Services Library

Career Services has a collection of books available to help improve your networking skills and provide useful tips on networking. Some of these books include:

  • Power Etiquette - The advice you need on what to say and write. Learn all the appropriate business manners.
  • Information Interview - The process of defining your job, finding the information you want, and strategies for building a successful network.
  • The Max Strategy - No matter where you are in life, physically or mentally, you just might find what you are looking for to have the career you have always wanted.
  • 60 Minutes to Success - A guide to help get you through a business lunch.

Why Should I Network?

Truly effective networking is based on relationships that are cultivated and nurtured so that a mutual exchange of information, advice, and support is given and received. Networking is not about bothering, pestering, or using people. It's not about being pushy, or about a contest to see who can collect the most business cards or shake the most hands. When you take the time to develop mutually beneficial relationships, networking takes on a better meaning. You can comfortably turn to people in your network, and vice versa, when there is assistance needed.

There's a networking cliché that says "It's not what you know, it's who you know." This is true because the more people you know, the better success you'll have in your career. Having a large circle of contacts is a real plus but quality is just as important as quantity. In other words, when you set out to meet people, it is important to zero in on the people who have the information, knowledge, or experience that you need.

Remember that you are never too young or too old to network. Each stage in your life brings challenges that require the assistance of others. There are four typical goals everyone works toward in these stages of life. The four stages are: Career Choice, Job Search, Career Management, and Business Development.

You can find this information and more in the book Networking for Everyone! found in Career Services. Remember that networking is a skill that can be learned by all. Give it a try! What do you have to lose?

Adapted from Networking for Everyone! Connecting with people for career and job success, L. Michelle Tullier, Ph.D.

Networking Handouts