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How to Develop Opportunities Through Networking

How to Develop Opportunities Through Networking


Experience has shown that informal networking is a very rich source of job leads and information about unpublished job opportunities. Successful networking requires that you have as many contacts as possible hear your story, so they realize you are in the job market.

Sources of Possible Contacts

To begin developing your network, secure names of specific individuals. These names can be obtained through several means:

• Professors, friends, relatives, and former employers- or any professionals these people recommend.
• Members of professional associations.
• People in the information business – resource center directors or librarians.
• Human Resource directors, public relations officials or public information specialists.
• Community service agencies or area chambers of commerce.
• Alumni contacts-can be accessed through an appointment with a career consultant.

Once you have identified people with whom you wish to speak, you can now plan to interview them. This is a powerful tool known as informational interviewing. Your objective during an informational interview is to gather career information from professionals in your field(s) of interest.

How to Contact People in Your Network

By Phone
When calling to schedule an appointment, three points should be covered:

1. Offer a personal introduction.
2. Identify your purpose for seeking an appointment.
3. Arrange a mutually convenient time.

•Write an outline or script of what you are going to say on the phone. This will decrease your anxiety and ensure that you will obtain all the necessary information. Additionally, you will be perceived as organized and professional.
• If you are having problems getting “past the secretary,” call before 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Chances are, the individual you are trying to reach may be answering his/her own telephone.
• If you are calling as the result of a referral, state that person’s name early in the conversation.
• Indicate you need only 20 to 30 minutes of the person’s time. (Make sure you adhere to this timetable.)
• Express the need for a personal interview as opposed to a telephone conversation.

By Letter
As with phoning for an interview, a letter requesting an appointment should include:

1. Personal introduction.
2. Purpose for seeking appointment.

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