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Build Your Network


The U.S. Department of Labor reports that up to 80% of all positions are filled without employer advertising. That means that almost 80% of jobs are filled through some form of NETWORKING

WHY? It saves employers time and money when they fill positions based on recommendations from colleagues or friends. 



You know networking is vital, but how do you begin the process? There are a number of ways to grow your network. Start by exploring the categories below.

Family & Friends Inform family and friends of companies and career professions that interest you because they may know someone you can connect with.
Purdue Alumni Connect with Purdue alumni who are in your field, live in cities you’d like to move to, or work in companies that interest you through networking sites like LinkedIn.
Professors & TAs Seek information from professors and TAs as they may have contacts in career fields you may not have considered.
Co-workers Even though you’re working a part-time job to help pay for college now, keeping in contact with your co-workers is a great idea.
Academic Advisers & CCO Counselors Inquire about possible professional connections from Academic Advisers and CCO career counselors. They’ve worked with a lot of students who are now alumni. 
Classmates Keep in touch with your classmates because they’ll be your co-workers in the professional world one day.


  • Informational interviews or job shadowing experiences 
  • Professional organizations or conferences in your area of study
  • Company information sessions and career fairs
  • Opportunities offered by your college or the CCO
  • Social media platforms

Want more advice? View a CareerSpots video.


There are many ways to establish professional connections, both online and in person. No matter where you network, knowing your PERSONAL BRAND will help you because you’ll already know who you are, what you can bring to a company, and what you’re looking for in an employer. 

Explore this page to discover your personal brand and then move on to the APPLY YOUR BRAND VIRTUALLY and MAKE A STRONG INTRODUCTION tabs to learn how to put your brand to work.



The first part of discovering your personal brand is to dig into your personality and think about the characteristics you have. What are you known for? What would make people say, “Oh that’s so you”?  Use the words within this category to help you brainstorm.


 adaptable  adaptive  agreeable  alert  brave  bright  calm
 capable  confident  conscientious  cooperative   creative   determined   dynamic
 enterprising  frank   happy  helpful  impartial  industrious  organized
 persistent  pleasant  practical  reflective  reliable  resolute  resourceful
 sincere  sociable  talented  trustworthy      



What makes you tick? What are you willing to advocate for? What do you value in a friend or co-worker? What have you liked about a previous job or volunteer experience? Use the words within this category to help discover your values.

 access  accountability  achievement  altruism  balance  calmness  caring
 character  community   compassion    concern   consistency   democracy   determination 
 devotion   dignity  education   efficiency  empathy   energy  excellence
 fairness  freedom  friendship  happiness  hard work  harmony  honesty
 initiative  innovation  integrity  intelligence  kindness  knowlegde  leadership
 logic  morality  opportunity  optimism  order  perserverance  persistence
 prevention  pride  punctuality  quality  rational  respect  satisfaction
 selflessness  security  sincerity  time  tolerance  transparency  trust



What are you good at? Are you naturally creative or analytical? Do you always get projects in by the deadline? In what ways do your friends depend on you? Use the words within this category as a tool to help you brainstorm your skills & abilities.

 acting  administering  advising  aiding  appraising  arranging  assembling
 assessing  budgeting  building  calculating  caring  cleaning  coaching
 coding  collating  compiling  composing  computing  conducting  cooking
 coordinating  controlling  counseling  decorating  debating  deciding  delegating
 developing  diagnosing  directing  documenting  empathizing  encouraging  enforcing
 entertaining  examining  explaining  extracting  facilitating  generating  governing
 growing  helping  improvising  influencing  initiating  inspecting  interpreting
 intervening  inventing  investigating  locating  maintaining  managing  measuring



Take what you’ve gathered and pull the words you find to be most true and the best selling points. Figure out what, from that list, is most relevant to your field. Are you able to imagine the future needs of an organization and develop a process to accomplish goals? Then that’s part of your personal brand. Can you manage a group of individuals to effectively complete tasks and attain goals? Personal brand.

Keep in mind that what you sell yourself as needs to be reinforced by what else can be discovered about you—especially through social media. If you’re selling yourself as a compassionate teacher don’t tweet about how ignorant your students are. If you brand yourself as someone who needs to be busy, don’t Instagram daily pictures of your legs by a pool. If you sell yourself as a health and fitness freak, don’t have a “Deep Fried Food <3” board on pinterest.  Google yourself, see what comes up, and make sure it’s all aligned.


Explore the social media platforms below to figure out how you can effectively display your PERSONAL BRAND and impress potential employers. 



Learn how to build a profile, network and search for opportunities at LinkedIn for Students if you’re just getting started. 

  • Build your profile by including all of your resume content.  According to LinkedIn, members with complete profiles are 40x MORE LIKELY to receive opportunities! 
  • Incorporate your personal brand by creating a catchy headline, relevant keywords, skills, and accomplishments.
  • Use a profile picture that shows professionalism. 
  • Join GROUPS relevant to your field and contribute to the conversation.
  • Reach out to alumni who are at companies you’d like to work for or are in fields that interest you to see if they would be willing to provide advice.
  • Follow COMPANY PAGES and get up-to-date info on the companies you’re applying to. You will IMPRESS them in the interview when they see you’ve done your research! 
  • Share content related to your field on your profile so employers can see how passionate and up-to-date you are.
  • Take advantage of the Job Search tool for internships and full-time opportunities.

NEED LINKEDIN GUIDANCE? Check out the CCO’s LinkedIn Boot Camp blogs! You can also visit the CCO during Drop-Ins from 10-4, Monday-Friday for a LinkedIn profile critique. 



  • Display your PERSONAL BRAND by creating a creative twitter handle including a combination of your name, unique skills or profession. 
  • Include an appropriate profile picture. 
  • Put a link to your résumé in your bio and don’t tweet anything you don’t want a recruiter to read. 
  • Show knowledge and interest in your field by tweeting and retweeting links to relevant articles and jobs.
  • Gain INFORMATION about your field by following industries, organizations and prominent employees. 
  • Re-tweet, reply and direct message to establish connections.
  • Use hashtags to your advantage by searching hashtags related to your industry. Remember to save your promising searches. 
  • Search for JOBS by location, job titles, hashtags or social recruiting resources.



  • Create a PROFESSIONAL PROFILE and consider keeping your personal and professional personas separate. 
  • “Like” Facebook professional and alumni pages and join GROUPS related to your field. 
  • Show employers you’re interested in your profession by contributing to groups and page conversations, as well as posting informative content and updates on your profile. 
  • Apply for positions on Facebook Marketplace.  



  • Display your PERSONAL BRAND by creating a headline and describing your career ambitions and skills. 
  • Build an infographic resume detailing your experience, skills and accomplishments. 
  • Generate BOARDS that display work you find inspirational or reflect your professional ambitions.
  • Enhance your account by including links to videos, images and other projects.


You will approach a variety of people in person and online when you network. Develop a 30 second introduction or “elevator pitch” to make your outreach efforts at career fairs and networking events as effective as possible by considering the following questions:

  • WHO ARE YOU? Introduce yourself and begin to tell your story. Indicate your school and major. 
  • WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN COMMON? Are they a Boilermaker? Do you have a shared contact? Are you members of the same social organization or network? (P.S. don't fret if you're unable to connect on this level with recruiters)
  • WHAT SETS YOU APART? Incorporate your personal brand here by mentioning a couple of your unique skills or accomplishments. Describe your internship, work or volunteer experience.
  • WHAT ARE YOU SEEKING? Help contacts help you. Are you looking for insight about the field through an informational interview? Are you seeking more in-depth internship and job search advice in your field of interest? Make your intentions clear to the people you’re connecting with. 


Informational interviewing is a 10–30 minute phone or in person conversation with someone working in a position or field that interests you. It’s a great way to:

  • Decide if a career field is a good fit for your interests, skills, and personality
  • Gain insight into an organization’s culture
  • Understand which major best prepares you for a certain career path
  • Make a good impression and inquire about other professionals you can contact in the future
  • Obtain valuable feedback concerning your resume content and structure 


Friends, family, and professors You will be amazed at how many contacts you will be able to make through existing relationships.
Social networks Are you on LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Do you blog? Tap into your existing friends, followers, connections and alumni by reaching out to them for the info you’re seeking. Specifically learn how to do this through LinkedIn by clicking here
Information sessions and career fairs These events can be very useful even if you aren’t looking for a job, especially since many of the company representatives that visit Purdue are alumni.



Visit the MAKE A STRONG INTRODUCTION section to figure out how to best introduce yourself to new connections and expand the INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW REQUEST EMAILS tab below to see how to ask for an informational interview online.

SIDE NOTE: If you’re looking to conduct a job shadow, the process for setting one up is the same as setting up an informational interview . You are just asking for a bit more time with a job shadow. Consider starting with an informational interview, and following up with a job shadow if you want to get a deeper view.
REMEMBER: People usually are very willing to help and lend advice, so don’t be afraid to ask for their guidance!

Hi Lawrence,
I am a Purdue Pharmacy student from the San Francisco area. I am interested in summer internship opportunities but I’m not quite sure where to start. Given your extensive career path, I was hoping you might have suggestions or just might be willing to share your expertise with a fellow Boilermaker. Hope to hear from you soon!
Claudine Meilink
Hi Jennifer,
I'm a fellow Purdue alum and am interested in learning more about [Company Name], as well as your career path. I am focused on making a career move that involves moving to the Chicago area and would really appreciate if you would take the time to chat with me.
Best Regards,
Tamara Clarkson
Hi Chris -
I'd love to speak with you about your career path in the near future. I am a Purdue alumni looking to make a career change in to technical sales. Please let me know if you have time to chat! Boiler Up!
Matt Altepeter
Hi Lauren,
I'm a fellow Purdue alum living and working in NYC and exploring some new career options. I met with Claudine Meilink at the CCO (she says hi by the way) and thought you might be willing to talk with me about your career. I would appreciate if you would take the time to chat with me.
Best Regards,
Iyad Yacoub
Mr. Hintz -
I recently attended the Krannert function in NYC but did not get the opportunity to speak with you. I am interested in shifting gears in my career to investment banking and was hoping I could pick your brain for some direction. I realize you are quite busy so even if we could meet briefly for coffee I would be very appreciative.
John Thorne
I'm a student at Purdue interested in converting my Industrial Engineering experience to the finance industry. I am hoping to connect with some Purdue alumni in banking to learn more about the industry. Would you be willing to help a fellow Boilermaker? 
Angela Petrie



Your contacts have responded to your informational interview requests. Awesome! Now what do you do?  


  • Research the organization and career path of the professionals you’re interviewing so you can ask catered questions.
  • Gain first-hand information by asking about their personal experience, such as how they decided on a major or career. Find great questions here.
  • Ask which professional organizations you should join and publications you should read in order to get more involved in your field.
  • Seek input on your academic major by getting coursework recommendations.
  • Request feedback on your resume.
  • Respect their time by honoring the time agreed upon and moving the conversation to a close 2-3 minutes prior to the end of your meeting.
  • Remember that even though you may want an internship or job, it is not appropriate to ask for one.
  • Inquire about other professionals or organizations you can contact and if you can say you were referred by them.
  • Request a business card/contact information from your interviewers and connect with them through LinkedIn.
  • Send a thank-you note or email expressing your gratitude for their time within 24 hours.
  • Maintain contact by sending them updates on how you’re progressing through your career.

What is myCCO?

myCCO is a portal where Purdue students and alumni can apply for internships, full-time and part-time opportunities.


How can myCCO help me?

Employers posting jobs, internships, and other opportunities on myCCO want YOU. Using the myCCO service allows you to take advantage of Purdue University’s reputation and vast network of industry connections.

How do I get a myCCO account?

  1. As a first time user enter your PUID as both your user name and password.(NOTE: the first 2 digits MUST be a double zero (00) even if they're not included in your current PUID. For example: 0012345678). Your PUID (with the double zero) will always be your username to log in to myCCO. Once you have completed your myCCO profile, the system will send an email with your "NEW" password.
  2. Read the “Participation Agreement” and “Cancellation and Missed Interview Policy” before clicking “I Agree to Terms.”
  3. Complete all required fields when completing your profile.

Video Instructions


How can I make the most of myCCO? 

Upload Your Resume

  1.        Click on “Resumes ETC” on the top navigation bar.
  2.        Select “Add New.”
  3.        Add a descriptive label to help you remember each document. Employers will not be able to see the label.
  4.        Select your document type. Use “Other Documents” for your transcript.

Edit Profile Privacy to be included in Resume Books and receive emails from myCCO

  1. Resume Books are a feature of myCCO that allows employers to pull resumes from students who meet the criteria of a position they’re looking to fill. If you opt-in for resume books, you have the chance to receive an email or call from an employer about a position!
  2. CCO Career Consultants will email you every time there is an on-campus interviewing opportunity that hasn’t received a lot of applicants so you know about the opportunity. You will also receive the Inside Track-a weekly career newsletter that updates you on career events happening that week.

Search and Apply for Jobs & On-Campus Interviews

  1. Hover on “Jobs” on the top navigation bar.
  2. Click on “myCCO Interviews and Job Listings” on the drop-down menu.
  3. Use the search bar and the advanced search options to find job postings relevant you.
  4. Apply to a positing by clicking the “Apply” button and submitting the required documents. For some positions, you may not be able to apply. These positions are on-campus recruitment postings and you must meet all screening criteria, including major, degree, graduation date, and work authorization.
  5. Note: Read the job posting carefully as the employer may refer you to the company website to apply.

Create Job Search Agents

  1. After running an “Advanced Search,” Click “Saved Searches.”
  2. Give your search a title and set a schedule for new job posting to be sent to you.
  3. Select “Yes” for “New Results Only.”
  4. Click “Save.”

Video Instructions

Follow Purdue Internships on Twitter

  1. Purdue Internships keeps you connected to myCCO internship postings on a daily basis!


What else comes with a myCCO account?

  • Live Online Resume, Interview and Job Coaching: Brainfuse Job Now
  • Ability to practice interviewing using Big Interview
  • Access company data using Mergent Online
  • Access to listings of company information sessions
  • Network with company contacts who have recently recruited at Purdue
  • See what companies are coming to upcoming career fairs


Having trouble creating your account?

  • FORGOTTEN PASSWORD: If you think you have an existing account in myCCO but don't remember your PU-ID, email with the subject line: Existing myCCO Account Forgot PU-ID.
  • ALUMNI: If you need to request your PU-ID: Click here to submit the Alumni PU-ID Request form and the CCO will respond to your request within 3-5 business days.
  • FUTURE STUDENT: We look forward to seeing you on campus. Your PU-ID will work at the beginning of the semester that you start your full-time classes.
  • REGIONAL CAMPUS: Students attending any of the Purdue Regional Campuses or Statewide Technology locations pursuing a "Purdue" degree are eligible to utilize myCCO. Please contact your campus Career Services office.
  • POST DOC FELLOWS: Please complete the PU-ID Request form. In the Problem Description area please enter CURRENT POST DOC and the department that currently employs you. Note: When you create your myCCO account, select the graduation year you will finish your post doc position at Purdue University.

Have questions? Please contact the CCO at

I agree to:

Accurate Information: Certify my job search documents to be truthful and accurate

Grant Access: Allow CCO to provide my job search documents to prospective employers

Honor Commitments: Keep all appointments that I've scheduled with employers and CCO Staff

Genuine Interest: Sign up for interviews with only employers with whom I'm interested in working

Professional Conduct: Accept an offer of employment in good faith and immediately notify employers of acceptance or non-acceptance of the offer. Withdraw from interviewing process and no longer pursue positions with other employers

Report Suspicious Inqueries: Understand that job seekers can be deceived by organizations posing as legitimate employers. Evidence of this behavior includes requests for personal information (i.e. social security numbers or credit card numbers) and requests for money. If you're suspicious of such an organization, do not respond to them and please share details with us at

Consequences for Non-Compliance: Accept that failure to adhere to any point in this agreement may result in the removal of my interview privileges in the Center for Career Opportunities

The CCO agrees to:

Provide Services: Assist you with your career decision-making and job search activities

Access of Information: Provide access to a range of career opportunities and types of employers

Non-Discrimination: Provide access and reasonable accommodations to prospective employers without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability

Protect Confidentiality: Exercise sound judgment and fairness in maintaining your confidentiality

Student Advocacy: Respond to employer EEO non-compliance concerns and unethical behavior. Follow-up with those posting suspicious vacancies, when possible, and consult with students and alumni affected by this dubious behavior

On-campus Interviewing: Cancellation and Missed Interview Policy

If you must miss an interview, you are required to cancel it in advance. When you fail to cancel your interviews in a timely fashion or do not appear for your interviews, your actions reflect poorly on you as an individual and on the University as a whole. Not only do you inconvenience the employer, but you may also deprive another student of a valuable interview opportunity. These situations, if unchecked may also have more serious implications on the University's relationships with employers overall.

Therefore, the Center for Career Opportunities treats these incidents very seriously and advises you to take special note of the following Cancellation and Missed Interview Policy.

Interview Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellations will NOT be accepted via email or voice mail.
  • Students must appear in person in Young 132 to complete paper work before an interview can be cancelled
  • Students are required to give three business days or 72 hours notice to cancel an interview
  • Always investigate an alternate date with the employer before you cancel an interview
  • It is your responsibility to speak personally with the employer representative and explain why you will not be attending the interview. Be aware, however that the employer may still report you to the CCO
  • If you cancel an appointment directly with an employer, remember to also contact the CCO
  • Regional Campus Students ( Purdue Calumet, IUPUI, Purdue North Central and IUPU Ft Wayne ) are required to work through their Regional Career Services office to cancel interviews. The Regional Campus Liaison will forward the information regarding the cancellation

Sudden Illness or Serious Personal Emergency on Interview Day

  • Students are expected to contact the CCO (765) 494 - 3981 prior to their interview time. Employers check-in between 8 and 8:30 AM and should be notified prior to that time

Employers typically are not in the office on weekends. Monday appointments should be cancelled no later than Friday morning.

If you miss an interview:

  • Your myCCO account will be locked
  • You will receive an e-mail from CCO with instructions to come to Young 132 immediately to resolve this matter
  • You will be required to meet with a walk-in counselor and discuss the reason you missed the business appointment to which you committed
  • The discussion and your reason for missing the interview will determine whether or not your file will be reactivated and if you will have the opportunity to use myCCO in the future.