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Networking is about getting to know people, making contacts, asking and sharing advice or information. There is a popular phrase that says “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and whilst it’s not 100% true, it makes an important point. Having good contacts in your area of interest can make all the difference when it comes to finding work opportunities, expanding your knowledge, and getting advice. Networking is also:

  • A useful job-hunting technique. There are many jobs that aren’t formally advertised – a company might decide to hire someone but draw from the pool of people that it knows, rather than place an advert for it.
  • An opportunity to explore ideas. It can be useful to talk ideas and approaches through with someone who has experience in a certain area – if you have a network of contacts who are relevant, you could use them as a sounding board.
  • A way of building your personal profile – particularly relevant in careers where reputation in the sector/region is important.

Traditionally, networking is a face-to-face activity – you meet people at events, when working with them etc. However, increasingly the growth of social media is leading to more and more online networking. LinkedIn is an international networking site used by the majority of people in any area of work, and is an important tool for you to start using whilst at University. Twitter is also an increasingly popular form of online networking. See our pages on Social Media for more information and guidelines on how to manage your online presence.

The Prospects pages on networking also offer some more useful information.  




Video provided thanks to CareerPlayer, Graduate Jobs and Career Advice on video.