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Counseling Dept. Career Center

Looking for a job? Many of all available jobs are never advertised in any print media. So how can you learn about these "hidden" jobs? The answer is networking…

What is networking?  Networking accounts for a substantial amount of all career placements. It means using per-sonal and professional contacts to help you be-come aware of positions that may be open with-in a variety of organizations.

The Purpose of Networking.  Through the process of networking you can let people know the following:

  •  You are actively looking for a job
  •  Your skills.
  •  What type of career you are seeking.

The people in your network may be able to re-fer you to organizations that are currently hir-ing or even to help you to get interviews or actual job offers.

Who’s in Your Network?  As a college student, you may think that you have no contacts who can help, but everyone you know has a potential to be a useful contact in your job search. Be inclusive when you de-cide who is a member of your network! Consider starting with:

  • Relatives
  • Friends & acquaintances
  • Classmates, team-mates & co-workers
  • Supervisors
  • Colleagues from professional organizations and religious groups
  • Former teachers and faculty

Let these people know your needs.  Listen to their ideas and suggestions. Ask them for names of others who might be helpful in your search.

Develop a Tracking System. Develop a record keeping or card file system for keeping track of each phone call, letter, inter-view, follow-up, and promise. Without this, you may soon become quite confused.

Be Professional.  Effective networking can be a tremendous boost to a job search, but employing inappro-priate techniques can cause you to lose valua-ble opportunities. As long as you approach peo-ple to whom you are referred in a professional and courteous manner, most people will be willing to share information because they like to help others and/or they want to stay "well-connected". When speaking to a contact to whom you have been referred, mention the name of the person who referred you early in the conversation.

Return the Favor.  Also remember that networking is a two-way street. You are developing a network of people to help you, and you should expect to return the favor. You might do the following:

  • Send an article on a topic of mutual interest.
  • Offer to treat them to lunch.
  • Send a simple thank you note to individuals who have been particularly helpful

When your job search is concluded, let them know that you have obtained a position and thank them once again. Then, keep in touch with them periodically. They can be vital to your future professional development.

By Dr. Lawrence Crouch, For more information, email: lawrence.crouch@eku.edu

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