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Networking Tips from Students for Students



In simple terms, networking is all about building and maintaining relationships with people, which can lead to a mutually beneficial exchange at some point. The intended result of the exchange will influence a person’s professional development and pave their career path. Networking accounts for around 80 percent of the jobs found.


It can be intimidating and seem like a burden thinking about beginning to form your professional network now. I’m sure a lot of us might be thinking “I’m still an undergraduate or graduate student, why should I worry about this now?” However, building one will open a lot of doors and possibilities that otherwise wouldn’t exist! The sooner you start networking, the sooner you can start learning and skill-building to help you get where you want to go.

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “it’s all about who you know,” and this phrase holds a lot of truth. Of course, you must meet the knowledge requirements and be qualified for a position, but your current knowledge can only get you so far. Having a connection with a professional in the industry, or even in a specific company, allows you to gain knowledge from their experience and have someone who will mention YOUR name when the time comes to review applicant resumes.


We have both experienced how meaningful it can be to have someone in your court who can offer tips for interviewing, specialized company information that can only be gained from those within the organization, and someone to act as your mentor. These sorts of things can be the difference between getting your foot in the door and your resume being tossed to the side.


This is the time to start utilizing individuals with who you interact regularly. This can include current or past professors, friends or acquaintances who are in the field or know someone in the field, and all faculty members at the University. Once you have a few people in mind, taking to platforms like LinkedIn and Handshake allows you to connect with individuals from different companies and learn more about organizations of interest. LinkedIn also allows you to message employees once an invitation has been accepted, to thank them for connecting with you.

Most importantly, don’t forget to stay in contact with your connections! It should never be a “one and done” situation; it should be a professional relationship that grows and develops.

Ways to stay in contact can include commenting on and reacting to job updates and posts, asking to chat about career advice to discuss your progress, or even asking a little bit more about them and their experiences. Most employees and employers are willing to share their email and contact information to help students who are new to the industry or entering it soon. It can also be helpful to ask your professors, faculty, or those in the field about the best ways to stay in contact.


It can be new and exciting to gain members into your professional network, but you must always remain courteous and respectful. Don’t forget your etiquette in professional situations, even if an employer may seem overly-casual and personable. It’s always good to have a comfortable relationship with a connection, but remaining respectful goes a long way. Always speak with appropriate language, never interrupt, be sure to ask follow-up questions to show interest, and be adamant with your eye contact and positive body language! (Source: American Psychological Association)

Make the Most Out of Your Network

If you do run into issues or become unsure of the next steps, check out the Career Services website or reach out to us at