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"Networking" is just another way to talk about making meaningful professional connections; this means making contacts, creating alliances, building support groups and befriending other people with similar professional interests. Did you know that many jobs are found through networking? Making connections and building your professional network seems daunting, but it doesn't have to be! Keep reading to find out more about networking and how to do it well.
One of the best sources for gathering information about what's happening in an occupation or an industry is to talk to people working in the field. This process is called informational or research interviewing. An informational interview is an interview that you initiate - you ask the questions. The purpose is to obtain information and build your network! Drop-in to the Career Development Center for more information on Informational Interviews.
Career Fairs and other Career Expo events are excellent opportunities to meet many employers in one location and to find out about who is hiring. It is also a great way to network!
Once you find yourself in a networking situation, make sure you're practicing good networking etiquette. Drop-in to the Career Development Center to learn how to sharpen your networking skills!
If you haven't done so already, get involved with professional organizations! You'll learn more about your field and make valuable connections with industry leaders. Want learn more about what professional organizations would be a good fit for you? Find your industry in "What Can I Do with a Major In..." This resource lists tons of valuable resources, including job growth information, education needed, and of course, relevant professional associations.