Networking is the process of gathering helpful information to research career paths and develop future job leads from a personal contacts and actual professionals in your field of interest. Studies show that only 20% of jobs are actually posted—leaving 80% to be discovered or developed. Therefore, networking is the No. 1 way most people actually find a job or internship.
Strangers won’t put their reputations on the line for you. A relationship must be built first. A successful networker is someone who realizes the value in building and maintaining a strong networking relationship throughout their career, not just while exploring career options or during a job search. Making networking a regular practice will help you stay informed and connected in your field and ready to make a successful job change when necessary.
Informational interviews are excellent ways to explore your interest in a field and to build your contacts in a specific industry or at a specific organization. View the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration’s Guide to the Informational Interview for a detailed explanation.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network that connects you to contacts and increases opportunities to network with professionals. Create a profile to keep track of contacts you have made throughout college and to expand your network.
Networking is the process of gathering helpful information from a personal contacts and actual professionals in your field of interest. View the center’s Guide to Networking to help you get started.
A Note About Networking
Networking is about developing professional relationships and is an important part of any career and job search. Positive relationships are built on trust and all interactions should be professional and respectful. Employers who recruit at UTK are required to maintain a discrimination-free environment in their recruiting processes as stated in our Employer Policies. Students should apply this same standard to professional connections made outside of campus recruiting. If a situation arises where a student feels uncomfortable in the networking or job search process, they can reach out to their career coach in the Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration for guidance.