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.
WHO DO YOU START WITH?
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.
|PEOPLE||HOW THEY CAN HELP|
|Family & Friends
||Inform family and friends of companies and career professions that interest you because they may know someone you can connect with.
||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.
||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.
||Keep in touch with your classmates because they’ll be your co-workers in the professional world one day.
WHERE DO YOU NETWORK?
- 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
EXPLORE THE TABS on the left to learn how to NETWORK THROUGH THESE AVENUES!
DISCOVER YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
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.
Step 1: Determine Who you Are
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.
Step 2: Determine Your Personal & Professional Values
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.
- hard work
Step 3: Determine Your Skills & Abilities
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.
Step 4: Spin It & Maintain It
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. Visit the APPLY YOUR BRAND VIRTUALLY and MAKE A STRONG INTRODUCTION tabs to discover how you can make personal brand work in person and online.
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APPLY YOUR BRAND VIRTUALLY
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.
MAKE A STRONG INTRODUCTION
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
|HOW DO YOU FIND PEOPLE TO INTERVIEW?|
|Friends, family, and professors
||You will be amazed at how many contacts you will be able to make through existing relationships.
||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 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.
HOW DO YOU ASK?
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!
informational interview request emails
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!
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.
|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!
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.
|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.
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?
HOW DO YOU CONDUCT AN INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW?
Your contacts have responded to your informational interview requests. Awesome! Now what do you do?
set goals & ask questions
- 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.
gain referrals & make a good impression
- 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.
stay in touch
- 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.