Build Your Network
Build Your Network
According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Yale University report, 70% of today’s jobs are obtained through networking. Networking does not require that you know lots of people—only that you want to know more people than you do now. Though it may seem intimidating, all you need is preparation, time, and effort.
Harden, P. (2016). How to Land a Job by Networking. The Washington Post Jobs.
To facilitate this self-assessment, consider your skills, interests, personality, and values. Take a few minutes to reflect on these areas.
Determine Your Purpose
If you are exploring major or career options, your purpose is to gather information about careers that interest you. If you are looking for full-time employment, your purpose is to obtain advice and job leads.
Develop a List of Potential Contacts
This list can include classmates, family members, family of classmates, roommates, professors, and advisors, as well as current and former employers. Initiate new contacts through guest speakers, career fair representatives, members of professional organizations, and web-based networks. You can also find a UGA alumni mentor via the UGA Mentor Program.
The elevator pitch, an abbreviated introduction of yourself, can be used in a situation where you don’t have much time to talk. It is also a good lead-in for telephone conversations with contacts. See our "Introducing Yourself to an Employer" page to learn how to craft an introduction.
Ways to Network
- Ultimately, you want to end up networking face-to-face.
- Talk to people you know well and let them know your purpose for networking.
- These initial contacts will lead to meetings with secondary contacts.
- Have a list of questions to facilitate the conversation. See our "Informational Interviews 101" page for inspiration.
Telephone & Video Calls
- Use telephone or video calls to network with individuals who are not local to your area.
- Minimize noise and be aware of your background if you are using video.
- Always clearly identify yourself, the reason you are calling, and give the name of who referred you, if applicable.
- Suggest a follow-up conversation.
- Use this if you are familiar with the contact and know their organization’s culture is email friendly.
- Send a message that uses professional language. See our "How to Leverage LinkedIn" and "E-mail Correspondence Examples" pages for sample networking e-mails.
- Use formal greetings like, “Dear Mr./Ms. [last name].
- Include a signature with your name, major, and contact information.
- There's a better way to network. Visit mentor.uga.edu today and find an alumni mentor who can help you see your future.
- Use LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field. See our "How to Leverage LinkedIn" page for tips.
- Visit our online calendar for UGA networking events with alumni and/or industry professionals.