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The Center for Career Development

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The Importance of Networking

What is Networking?

Networking is the use of contacts to acquire information, advice, and referrals for the job hunt. Contacts can range from your closest friends to professionals you have met before. It is always easiest to start networking with the people to whom you are closest: friends, family, neighbors, present and former co-workers/employers, faculty, classmates, and anyone else with whom you have frequent contact.

Beyond the Want Ads: The Art of Networking

Studies of workers of all types have found through these traditional approaches, 60 to 90% of the job are found through friends, relatives, personal contacts, and direct application. This informal and personal job finding methods are often referred to as "networking". Networking involves developing your contacts and connecting with people; it is asking people if they are aware of job openings for someone with your qualifications, or if they know other people that can help you locate the unadvertised jobs. If done well, it may actually lessen your job search time by turning personal contacts and direct applications into interviews and, hopefully, job offers.

One of the best ways for any job seeker to uncover career opportunities is through networking. Make as many contacts as you can with people in all types of businesses and industries related to your chosen career field. Join a professional association. Conduct informational interviews. Keep in touch with former employers, professors, classmates, interns, supervisors--anyone who could be a potential lead for a job.

If you were an employer, wouldn't you prefer to interview a candidate referred by someone you know and trust? Many organizations, especially small companies, depend upon networking, referrals, and front-door traffic rather than on costly employment agencies and classified ads. So which people do you network with? Anyone you can think of? Begin by creating a "Network Worksheet" organized into categories of people, for example, friends, classmates, BMCC alumni, faculty, parents of friends, current and former co-workers or supervisors, coaches, relatives, neighbors, members of organizations to which you belong, professional acquaintances, people you met at parties, and people who know other people through their work (such as dentists, lawyers, financial planners, and bartenders). Effective networking requires preparation and practice. Before contacting people on your list, prepare a "script" that describes who you are, what you are looking for in a position, and what you have accomplished (relevant education, years of experience, important knowledge, skills, and traits). Your script concludes with the questions:

Follow-up is essential to effective networking. After speaking with people about job leads or referrals; send them a letter thanking them for their help and suggestions. Update them on the progress you have made, and ask them to keep you in mind should they learn of a job lead or think of someone who might be helpful to you. After several weeks, contact them again. For some people, networking may seem difficult, but efforts put forth are well worth it.

In today's job market, many job seekers will not find a suitable employer immediately upon graduation. Don't despair. Here's what employer professionals from a broad cross section of the business industry, the service sector, government agencies and the military advise: "Keep on trying-Don't give up or get discouraged, Search harder, especially in an area not directly related to your major field of study. The state of the current job market is the result of economic forces and has nothing to do with you personally."

How to Maximize the Power of Networking

With resume in one hand and want-ads in the other, you're prepared to land the job of your dreams, right? It may surprise you to know that approximately 70 percent of hires result from good old fashioned networking. The more you cultivate your network, the greater chance you have of being hired quickly. Think of the following tips as you power plan to push ahead and apply top-notch networking know-how.

Time-Tested Networking Tips

Remember, even when you are not job hunting, it is always a good idea to keep expanding your network. You never know when you will need to use it next.

 

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Center for Career Development| About Us
199 Chambers Street, S-342, New York, NY 10007
Phone: 212-220-8170|Fax: 212-346-8519
Email: career@bmcc.cuny.edu|Office Directory

Office Hours:
Walk-in hours: Monday 3pm-6pm, Tuesday and Thursday 2pm-5pm
(career fair preparation)
Saturdays hours

When classes are not in session, the Center is open Mon–Fri: 9:00AM–5:00PM

Walk-in hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 2pm-4pm

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The City University of New York

Borough of Manhattan Community College
The City University of New York
199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007
212-220-8000 | Directory

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