What is networking?
Networking is simply talking to people – in person, by phone, using email or letters. It's communicating what you are looking for, to a broad group of people. Use networking to find work or other resources you need, like housing.
When you network, let people know about the type of work you're looking for. And you can describe some of the reasons why you'd make a good worker. Networking is not the same as asking for a job. It's more about getting the word out that you are looking for a job.
Who's in your network?
Your network is everyone you know who can help with your career goals. It includes friends and family, teachers, past employers, people you've volunteered for, and workers who've helped you. It also includes the people your own friends and family know.
Although your networking contacts are probably not hiring managers themselves, they may know someone who is. Many jobs are filled without ever being advertised, and instead are just filled by networking. So be sure to connect with a lot of people to let them know what you are looking for.
Get started: Make a list of contacts
List people who might be able to help you answer your job search questions. Start talking with them. These contacts might include:
- Friends, family, and neighbors
- Members of your community groups
- Former classmates, teachers, and professors
- Acquaintances and business contacts, including former managers, supervisors, and coworkers
- Referrals from other contacts
Once you have a list of contacts, make a plan to get in touch with some people on your list every day. When you ask for their help, you could also ask how you could be helpful to them. You are also part of their network.
Learn more in CareerOneStop's section on networking.