Networking involves informational interviews that allow you to develop professional relationships and gain insight into an industry, a company, or a career path, and ultimately a job or internship. Networking contacts can also offer resume advice, interviewing tips or insider advice on how to prepare for various careers. While networking contacts may decide to forward your resume to a hiring manager after establishing a strong relationship, the primary purpose of networking is to learn about career preparation rather than to ask for a job.
Employers prefer to hire qualified candidates that they know or that are recommended by people they trust and are therefore more likely to consider those candidates when an opening first arises. Seventy-five to 85 percent of jobs and internships are ultimately filled by people who have formed networking connections with employers, while the remaining 15 to 24 percent of positions are filled by people who apply through an employer website or job board such as Indeed.com. Networking should take up 80 percent of the time you commit to a job or internship search.
Every person you know might know someone who would be beneficial for you to meet, and it's important to make those connections.
Following a structured process will increase the likelihood of reaching networking goals. Our office has created an eight-step how-to guide that can help you set goals, find contacts, build relationships, manage connections, and evaluate your success.