Career Services


Networking is the process of building sincere relationships with those who can help you achieve your goals and who you can help as well. Networking isn’t about being cheesy or your own personal praise, but rather focusing on the exchange. Think about it, all of those people in business who are successful today had someone help them get to where they are. Sure, you might just be a college student now, but if you go into your business relationships with a sense of generosity from the very beginning, willing to connect people who need each other, the professionals around you will quickly take notice.

 Why Network?

Networking is the number one way people find jobs! This is mainly due to the internal referrals in the hidden job market. This is how the hidden job market works:

 Stage 1: No job openings, but employers are always looking for a good worker.

Stage 2: The need is clear-the insiders know but no action is taken to notify the public. Referrals and timing are critical.

Stage 3: Job is now open in-house and is posted. Referrals are desired. Employers call schools, employment agencies, etc.

Stage 4: Ad is in the newspaper. Crowds appear.

80% of all jobs are filled before a job is even advertised. Having a strong network while you’re job searching can get your name in front of the employer before it is public-it puts you on the inside track.

 Getting Started

What is my Goal?  Begin with the end in mind. What do you want to get out of the relationship?

  • Develop a professional circle, increase industry knowledge
  • Job or Internship
  • Explore and learn about new professions
  • Refine professional and interpersonal skills (qualities of a good networker)

Research Companies

  • Create a target company list or must meet list
  • Identify your network by asking these questions:
    • Who do I already know?
    • Who do I want to know?
    • Who knows those people I want to know?
    • Who can I find at the job or company in which I am interested?
    • Facebook
    • Search “People I may know who currently work as job title” OR “People
      I may know who currently work at company
    • You can further refine your search results from there
    • LinkedInLocate employers & employer contacts and add to target companies list
    • O*Net can be a great resource (upload & hyperlink: Handouts_Career Services>Major Exploration>ONET Handout)
    • Talk with people around you, let them know you are looking to network!
    • Write what you find in your Career Guide, page 47
    • Here are some questions to think about while searching for prospective companies and solidifying what you want to learn more about. Different goals demand different questions: Sample Networking Questions

How to Construct a Message to Someone in person or online-feel free to customize it to you!

“Hello, my name is ___ and I am studying ____ at _____ and will graduate _____. _____ from ________ gave me your information and suggested I reach out to you for more information. I’m looking for _____ where I can learn more about ____. Is there a time we can connect so I can ask some more questions and you can share your experience with this career? You can reach me by _____ or email at ______. Thank you!”

 Example 1: “Hello, my name is James and I am studying Business Finance at Purdue University Fort Wayne*. Josiah from Lincoln Financial gave me your information and suggested I reach out to you for more information in this industry. I’m looking for an insider’s perspective where I can learn more about hedge funds, investing, and wealth management. Is there a time we can connect so I can ask some more questions and hear any advice you would have for me? You can reach me at 260-481-0689 or Thank you!”

Example 2: “Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I am a Women’s Studies major at Purdue University Fort Wayne* . Karen from the Bowen Center suggested I contact you because you are very well versed in this field and have a great amount of experience. I would love to hear about your career journey and how you got to where you are today. Would there be a good time for us to meet or chat on the phone? My number is 260-481-0689 or you can email me at Thank you in advance!”

 If you are extremely shy, attend a campus networking event and write down observations of good networkers you see at the event. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor and debrief your experience, develop some networking skills!  Practice! Practice! Practice - talking about yourself out loud at home, in the shower, in the car, to anyone!