Networking is a tool used to cultivate relationships to leverage in your career development process. These relationships can serve to provide information, support, and job leads. Networking occurs in a variety of formal and informal settings and consists of meeting and talking to people, asking questions, organizing information, and following up on referrals.
Networking . . .
- Assists in the choice of a major or career
- Enables you to get advice on your job search and spread the word of your availability for the type of career you are seeking
- Serves to validate your career interests
- Improves your interviewing and interpersonal skills
- Helps you gather information about different careers and the qualifications that different jobs require
- Allows you to obtain knowledge about a company, job, or career field
- Leads to mentoring relationships
- Make a list of everyone you know—and the people they know—and identify how they could help you gather information for your career/job search. What are their passions/specializations/interests? What can you learn from them?
- Sign up for a mentoring program or seek out a mentor
- Join a professional organization that relates to your career interests
- Volunteer and get involved in your community
- Speak to company representatives at Business Career Services or School of Business events, even if you are not ready for a job!
- Attend company information sessions or tables and speak to the recruiters who run those events!
- Schedule informational interviews
- Create a LinkedIn profile—online networking is amazing!
- Utilize the Business Career Services Alumni Lists
Why it matters:
- Connect with alumni from KU and/or specifically the School of Business
- Easily find individuals, even KU alumni, that work at the companies you are interested in
- Have a professional presence online that you could market to people
- Friends of Marketing at the University of Kansas
- Jayhawks in Supply Chain
- Jayhawks in Finance
- University of Kansas School of Business Alumni
- KU Alumni Association
- University of Kansas Masters of Accounting
Other LinkedIn Tips:
- Join professional groups related to your career!
- Complete your LinkedIn profile as much as possible.
- View our student sample profile on LinkedIn. Use this to guide you as you develop your first LinkedIn profile!
- Be sure to include a professional photo of yourself on your profile
- Update your profile regularly
- If you are in the initial stages of your career planning, you may want to use your contacts for informational interviewing and career research. If you are in the later stages of the process, you might consider networking to obtain job leads, referrals, or advice on how to conduct your job search. Go into conversations knowing what you hope to get out of it. Have prepared questions available to facilitate the discussion.
- Review your accomplishments. Know what you are seeking and what you have to offer. Consider your skills, interests, and values. Knowing yourself will allow you to connect with contacts with greater ease and confidence and deliver the best impression. Practice your introduction or “commercial.”
- The best networkers are those that are sincerely interested in people. Do not seek out contacts just because they could somehow benefit you, instead cultivate relationships with those you are genuinely interested in.
- Remember to be courteous, professional, and gracious at all times
Take the Time
- Forming relationships can be time-consuming. One meeting is not enough to solidify a new contact, keep in touch and make time for several interactions.
- Meetup.com--Great resource to locate individuals with similar interests. Identify professional meet-ups by filtering events through "Career and Business."
Kansas City Metro Career & Business Resources
- www.kcchamber.com -- Go to the membership directory and type in a key word to help you identify prospective employers in the Kansas City area that you haven’t considered and might not know exist. The membership pages also link to the company web sites and associated career opportunities. All communities have a Chamber of Commerce so if you are searching in an area other than Kansas City, identify the Chamber for your targeted location to research prospective organizations in your interest area.
- www.lawrencechamber.com – Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
- http://www.topekachamber.org/ -- Topeka Chamber of Commerce
- www.thinkkc.com – Kansas City Area Development Council. This can help you identify emerging opportunities as well as a list of organizations headquartered in the area. Economic profiles for the area will also be outlined.
- www.kcsmallbiz.com – Kansas City Small Business Monthly
- www.ingramsonline.com – Kansas City Ingram’s Magazine
- http://www.business.ku.edu/kusbdc/ - Kansas Small Business Development Center
- www.lrtc.biz – Lawrence Regional Technology Center
- www.kauffman.org – Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
- www.centralexchange.org – Women’s Networking Group in Kansas City
- http://inkkc.com/content/in-the-club-young-professionals-groups-in-kansas-city/--Young Professional Organizations in Kansas City