Networking is building, creating and nurturing professional connections. It enables you to learn about different careers, organizations and job opportunities. It is not simply acquiring business cards– it is taking the time to get to know people in the areas in which you are interested and staying in touch throughout your career. In addition, Through networking you will uncover job opportunities that might not be posted or create an opportunity that did not previously exist.
Point: Online Workshops
When building your network, look at organizations you are interested in learning more about. Use the Yale Career Network to search Yale alumni working at your target organizations. Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY) brings together Yale undergraduates, graduate and professional school students and alumni. You should also use professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, to identify individuals.
Send a brief email introducing yourself and requesting a time to talk (either over the phone or in-person). You may have met someone at an event or reception and are now seeking to reconnect to ask them more questions. If that is the case, remind the person when you met and briefly what you spoke about. Consider asking for an Informational Interview.
Be sure to send a thank-you email to everyone you meet with – even if it’s someone you already know. Let them know that you appreciate their suggestions and plan to take action on them and then be sure to keep your contacts informed as you follow their advice. Stay in touch. Email an interesting article or send a Happy New Year card. Don’t let the contact get stale, as you never know when you might need to call on those in your network. Remember: A strong network is a key to a successful career.