Networking Resources and Tips

Frequently, the Career Center receives many inquires about locating contacts who can assist in career field identification or job search. These inquires include:

  • Where can I find listings of all U of R alumni?
  • How do I find more information about becoming a patent attorney?
  • What is the best way to approach a networking contact and ask for assistance?
  • I have heard that networking is the most effective job search strategy. How can I find contacts?
  • How can I find additional contacts to speak with?

Networking is the process of asking for assistance from family, friends, and other alumni, either in person, on the phone, or by email. One networks for two basics reasons – to gain information about a career field or to develop potential contacts for an internship or job search. The key to effective networking is to be able to articulate the information that you are seeking to the correct individuals.

If you are seeking career information (also known as pResearch or research before job search), be sure to identify to particular contacts that you are seeking “information” rather than “consideration.” Networking contacts will be able to provide you with an understanding of a particular field, knowledge of a graduate school curriculum, or overall advice on the types of experiences necessary for success in a given field. Alumni, friends, and family are rich sources of information to describe typical days for a particular job title. To locate alumni, register with the Rochester Alumni Exchange.

Networking can also give you an advantage in any job or internship search by allowing you to learn the appropriate contacts for specific companies. Contacts can provide you with “inside information” to assist in your candidacy at their company or others. Communicate with them articulating your goals and objectives, and ask for their assistance to achieve these goals and objectives.
Networking is most effective after you have established your goals and developed a resume (see the 10 Steps to yoUR Success page, steps 1 and 2).

Networking is one of several job search techniques which also include establishing a hit list (10 Steps page, step 3) and responding to postings. The Career Center is here to assist you in every step of the process, including assisting in identifying networking contacts and developing a script to communicate with these contacts. If you haven’t already done so, fill out a quick questionnaire that will register you for our services, and then begin communicating with a counselor.