Networking

Networking is a constant cycle of building and maintaining relationships, all of which can help you cultivate information and leads about potential career opportunities. If you’ve ever talked to a professor, chatted with a family friend, or made conversation with someone on a plane, then you’ve already networked!

Networking Preparation

A Note About Your Privacy & Online Reputation

Since so much networking is done online, it’s important to review and/or clean up your web presence.  Google yourself and then ask yourself, “am I comfortable with an employer seeing this visual and written content about me?”  Employers, schools, and networking contacts regularly pass on a candidate if they don’t like what they see online.

Get Started: 

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Build Your Network

These practical tips and advice will help you get started in successfully adding valuable relationships to your contact list.

Set Goals

Identify why you want to network and what your desired outcome will be.

Do Research

Learn as much as you can about the industry, job function or employer of interest as well as the person with whom you will be speaking. If you already know with whom you are meeting, be sure to visit the contact’s company website, search for the contact’s name online, and review the contact’s LinkedIn profile.

Find Contacts

Start your search by utilizing LinkedIn to identify people of interest.

Develop Questions

You should expect to have about 10-15 questions ready to ask for a half hour conversation. Check out these sample networking questions to get started.

Practice your Pitch

Develop a short 60-second summary to introduce yourself and highlight your unique skills and qualifications. Use this tool to help structure your pitch.

Create/Edit Your LinkedIn Profile

Having a professional social media presence is an absolute must! Learn how to build and maintain your LinkedIn profile.

Reach Out

Connections may be made in-person, over the phone or online. In all cases you will want to address who you are, why you are contacting them, what you want, and a plan for following back up.

Hiatt recommends: Brandeis University Career Connections LinkedIn Group , Submit a Wisdom Wanted ad 

Meet in Person
  • Be courteous. Arrive on time, or even early. 
  • Dress professionally as a sign of respect and to make a good impression.
  • Ask for advice, not a job.  Remember, you’re seeking expertise and wisdom, not a mass-distribution of your resume.
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself.  Your contact will surely ask about your experiences and interest.
  • Really listen to what the person tells you.
  • Take notes. While it is important to maintain eye contact during in-person meetings, taking notes also demonstrates interest in what the person is saying.
  • Keep the conversation relatively short. Respect that the other person has many demands on his/her time. Be aware of the time that has passed and when there is a break in the conversation near the end of the time you requested, thank the person and politely end the conversation.
Participate in Networking Opportunities

Opportunities to connect, both in person, and online are everywhere.  

  • Attend Hiatt events - to engage with local and national alumni as well as a diverse pool of employer partners
  • Attend Brandeis events - stay active in the community by meeting Brandeis students, faculty, staff and leaders
  • Attend local area events - be an active member of your community by getting involved in events in your area
  • Join professional associations/organizations - learn more from professionals in your desired market and industry
  • Find and connect with professionals on LinkedIn - be an active online member by updating your profile, joining groups and being part of conversations
  • Join the Brandeis University Career Connections group on LinkedIn for additional industry networking with students and alumni
  • Submit a Wisdom Wanted ad - gain valuable career advice from Brandeis alumni, parents and volunteers through online ads created by you!
Follow Up

No matter what your experience may have produced, it is important that you show gratitude to the person you networked with.

Say Thanks

Send a thank you note indicating your appreciation for their time and feedback. Notes should be sent within 24-48 hours of your interaction.

Process the Conversation

What did you learn? What are your next steps?

Stay in Touch

A quick note to a connection can be a nice reminder of who you are and what you are interested in. These relationships may lead to future job or internship referrals, letters of recommendation, and/or additional contacts.

Recognize When to Let Go

Not all networking relationships will endure. If you feel that the relationship is no longer beneficial to you or your contact, or that you’ve reached your anticipated goals, you should simply part amicably, politely, and professionally.

Reciprocate

You never know when someone may seek out your insights and advice in return. Be a source of information for other Brandeis students and professionals.