You’ve heard the expression “it’s all about who you know.” That expression absolutely has some truth to it. But the real truth is, it’s not who know right now, it’s also who you set out to meet. Networking is the important professional process of developing and maintaining relationships. Networking allows you to learn about people and their careers. It can also be incredibly valuable for landing a position with an organization you are interested in.
- 80% of jobs are found through networking
- Talking to people and listening to their experiences is one of the BEST ways to learn about different careers and options
- It’s WAY more effective than job searching alone
- You can learn a lot about what you want to do (or don’t want to do!)
- A networking relationship built now will become stronger over time
- Only 5 to 25 percent of jobs are advertised
- Can help you with your current goal AND future goals
- Your connections may recommend classes to take or experiences to get now (internships, part-time jobs, research opportunities, etc.)
Identify and Build a Network
Whether you know it or not, you already HAVE a network. The first step is identifying who you already know who can be of assistance. This list can include relatives, friends and neighbors; previous employers, teachers or volunteer supervisors; your fellow Stonehill students or your friend’s parents. The identification of who you know is an important first step.
The next step is building a network – and this step never ends. You’ll start this process now but will likely continue to develop connections for your entire professional career.
To get started building a network while a Stonehill College student you’ll use:
- Professional Associations (example: the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Public Relations Society of America)
- The Career Connection Mentor Database
- Career Services networking events (industry lunches, career or service fairs, employer/alumni panels)
LinkedIn is “The world's largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe.” It’s undisputedly the most-used online networking tool by professionals in most industries. You want to have a presence on this site to begin to create your online professional persona as well as to assist you in networking. This site is where you will display your “online resume” as well as your connections, your recommendations and your professional interests.
Need to set up a LinkedIn account?
1. Go to www.LinkedIn.com
2. Enter information in the “Get started – it’s free” section and click “Join Now”
3. Once you are logged in, click on the “Profile” tab on the top left hand corner, and then click “Edit Profile”
4. Review the “Strong Profiles” section of this guide and complete as much of it as possible before adding any connections.
Creating Strong Profiles – 10 Steps
Just having a LinkedIn account is not enough; you’ve got to USE it! The first step is to create a strong profile so that when others are viewing your profile, they can learn as much about you, your accomplishments and your professional interests as possible.
- Upload a professional headshot
- Edit headline (under your name) to indicate who you are and what you are looking for. Example: Candidate for summer actuarial internship.
- Edit your location and industry to show your DESIRED location and DESIRED industry
- In the “Experience” section, cut and paste the content of your (reviewed and approved by Career Services) resume, adding a new section for each position (internship, summer job, campus job) held
- In the “Education” section, add Stonehill and your major/minor. Include your GPA if it is above a 3.0. Include all relevant academic information (honors, awards, research, study abroad, etc…)
- In “Additional Info” use caution! You may include your birthdate, but not the year. You should not include your marital status or any other personal information. Remember, this is not Facebook, it’s your professional social media site.
- Select recommendations to include. As trusted contacts (former managers, professors, etc.) to recommend you on LinkedIn and include these!
- Join “Groups”. Start by joining the Stonehill networking groups (there are a few for alumni, for business alumni, etc…). Join groups that are relevant to your chosen career path such as the Society for Neuroscience group which has more 22,000 members. Select groups that seem active and that demonstrate your professional interests.
- Follow reputable news sources, again demonstrating your professional interests
- Follow organizations that you are interested in
Still have questions? Reach out to the Office of Career Services for assistance at email@example.com.