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