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The Career Development Center is dedicated to helping students fulfill the lifelong pursuit of purpose by providing services, access to information, resources, and experiences that address individual career needs.

Networking Tips and Ideas

Networking Mistakes

  • Networking on the fly – The quality of your relationship with the individuals in your network is more important than your total number of contacts.
  • Expecting too much too soon – It takes time to establish a relationship with people in your network. Don’t expect your network to build simply through one meeting.
  • Job seeking disguised as informational interviewing – Don’t be sneaky! If you contact a person to find out more about your career field of interest don’t show up and begin asking for a job.
  • Not paying attention to new advice that is given –Take away at least one new piece of new information. Ask questions that will lend helpful advice (see the CDC Informational Interviewing handout) on our webpage.
  • Ignoring the “give back” dimension – Networking is not a one-way street. Provide a mutual exchange of information when asked.

Final Tips

  • Finding a job is a full-time job and networking is one of the most successful ways to go about doing it.
  • Pay attention to who you contact and when – keep a log of that information.
  • Keep up to date on recent trends in your field to discuss in informational interviews.
  • Use local business publications to find out about an organizational growth or new organizations that are moving into the area. e.g. In Buffalo – Business First
  • If you are interested in more than one field, you need to run two separate networking campaigns.
  • Practice your introduction.
    “Hello my name is Chris R. Candidate. Mary Smith, my economics professor at Buffalo State, suggested I contact you regarding career possibilities within the banking industry. Would you have a moment to speak with me?“
    Or,
    “Good afternoon, Mr./Ms. Jones, I have recently graduated with a degree in business. I was hoping to speak with you regarding the service industry. Would you have some time this week for a short conversation?”
  • Realize that “no” does not mean “no” forever.
  • Be patient and persistent!
  • Leave a copy of your resume when asked.
  • Write a thank you letter for their time and helpful advice.
  • When appropriate, ask for a business card so you can stay in contact.
Updated: 9/17/2014