What is Networking?
Networking is, quite simply, the art of building and developing professional relationships. It is an important life skill which, when used effectively, can produce great results.
In the job search, networking can be a very effective way to learn about unadvertised positions and secure interviews. Many college students and recent graduates have an unfortunate tendency to become overly mired in Internet job searching. Remember, computers don't hire you -- people hire you! Don't be reluctant to get out there and tap this valuable resource.
Who makes up your network?
Anyone and everyone you know could be a helpful contact. It makes no difference whether they are company presidents or secretaries, whether they work in your career field or not. What is important is the fact that these people are on the inside (that is, employed), a place where you want to be. And chances are, they may know someone who could open doors for you.
- Friends and family. This is not "cheating" -- use your connections to your best advantage!
- Professors, advisors and coaches.
- Former employers and coworkers.
- Mentors. Check out UB's Mentor Network Program.
- UB alumni. Perhaps you already know people who graduated from UB recently. The UB Alumni Association can help you connect with alumni.
- Professional Associations. Find an organization for professionals in your career field and see if there are any events scheduled for your area - or a membership directory.
- Online communities.
One way to expand your network of contacts is through informational interviewing. This technique is a way for you to speak with someone working in an organization or career field which interests you. It is NOT a job interview, and your goal is to ask for information and advice, NOT for employment. Click here for a step-by-step guide to informational interviewing.
Stay informed with upcoming networking events such as Career Conversations, Career Panel Discussions, and Career Fairs.
Networking How-To Resources
- Small Talk Guide , from Debra Fine
- Network Intelligence Gathering , from CollegeGrad.com
- Networking , from Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
- The Art of Networking , Quintessential Careers
- Networking and You , From MonsterTrak
- The Riley Guide
- Networking-Meet the Job, Internship or Career of Your Dreams: PDF (62KB) | Word (62KB)
Networking activities and Organizations
Rotaract is a service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. The club is community based, and sponsored by the Buffalo Sunrise Rotary Club. This makes it true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary. All Rotaract efforts begin at the local level, with members addressing their communities’ physical and social needs while promoting international understanding and peace through a framework of friendship and service. Beside the volunteer work, the club tries to provide members with the necessary leadership skills to be successful members within the community. It works closely with other local Rotary Clubs which gives members the opportunity to mix, mingle and network with the Rotary members. Throughout the year there are volunteer projects to work on and/ or help with. To become a member, students have to address their interest to the club executives who would then invite the student to one of their meetings. After filling out an application form and paying the initial $ 10 membership dues the students would be an official member. Dues are collected quarterly ($10) and there is a mandatory attendance (which is fulfilled by attending 60% of all meetings within one year). Students are free to join and leave at any time.
Below is some links to more information.
Start Your Network Here!