Studies report that up to 80% of jobs are found through referrals. As a result, learning how to network and build a strong base of professional connections is essential to a successful career search. Through networking, you can gather information about careers and hone in on options that fit with your interests, skills and values. Networking can also uncover opportunities which are not advertised.
Networking is a skill that improves with practice! OCS offers resources to help you make connections and build professional relationships.
- Master the informational interview.
- Brush up on your professional online identity, including a strong LinkedIn profile.
- Join Cross Campus and reach out to Yale alums.
- Attend an industry-specific recruiting event or employer information session.
- Connect with fellow students and alums through the Yale Career Link, peer networking lists.
The immediate goal of networking is not to get a job, it is about establishing professional relationships with people who can give you information and advice, and creating loose bonds with their contacts that may help you with your current search and future career.
“The term ‘networking’ has developed unfortunate connotations, suggesting the kind of person who sucks up to senior staff and ignores colleagues who are unlikely to help them win promotion. [Professor] Marissa King [of Yale School of Management] cites a study which found that two-thirds of newly promoted professionals were ambivalent about, or completely resistant to, thinking strategically about their social relationships. From the point of view of productivity, the most important networks are those formed by employees from different parts of the company. Diverse viewpoints should lead to greater creativity. They are good for workers, too. A study found that catching up with colleagues in different departments was linked to salary growth and employee satisfaction.” The Science of Networking, The Economist (Jan 2021).