Approximately 70% of all jobs/internships are found through networking! Networking involves a “career conversation” to explore careers or for job/internship search support. Networking, in reality, is just relationship building. You are not asking the person to give you or find you a job or internship, merely building relationships and seeking advice.
Who is your Network?
Family, friends, professors, classmates, previous employers, Notre Dame Alumni, and professional associations
Staying in Touch with Your Network
Networking is about building a relationship; it doesn’t mean every time you talk you are requesting assistance or advice. It may just be about touching base, an article of interest for them, or something new that has occurred in your professional life to share.
Connect via phone, snail mail or email in these potential situations:
- A link or a resource to share
- Information about an event you think they would enjoy attending
- An update on how you are doing, anything new you have begun, something you did related to their advice
- Ask them a new question showing you have done some research
- Introduce them to someone else ONLY if you think it would be beneficial to them
- Thank them for their time/insight after a networking meeting
- I thought of you when...
- I learned something in class...
- I saw something in the news...
- I used something I learned when working with you...
- I followed your advice...
- I mentioned you (or your organization) to someone...
How Often to Follow-up?
Every few months is appropriate, yet it really depends upon what is occurring in your life and if you truly have something substantial to say to them. Always be sincere, remember the purpose is to gain information, not to ask for a job or internship.
- Handwritten notes: Handwritten notes are unique in this day and age and make you stand out in a positive way
- Voicemail: Utilize phone calls when you need to communicate your energy and attitude
- Email: Good for a quick note, sending a link, or when time is of the essence. Utilize a clear and attention-getting subject line
Not everyone will find time to reciprocate. Send communications at least a week apart and no more than 3 times, if you don’t receive a response
- Don’t be a stalker. Persistence is admirable but not to the point of annoyance
- Prepare, prepare, prepare what you are going to say
- Be sure to send a thank you note after every networking meeting or phone call!