Networking begins on day one.
Networking is the most efficient and effective way to find a job that’s a good fit for you–and you can start immediately. Whether meeting classmates or engaging alumni and professors, your contacts can help you move upward and onward in your career journey in more ways than one. A good network can help you uncover different career paths and understand growth opportunities and pay ranges in that field. They can connect you with other professionals in your preferred industry and, sometimes, even help you land your dream job.
Try an Informational Interview
Once you've started building your network, ask one of your contacts if they'd be willing to do an informational interview. You may initially feel uncomfortable reaching out to people you don't know well, but understand that informational interviews are very common and most people enjoy talking about their professional journey. So, dive in! It will be worth it.
Work through this worksheet to help you get started.
Leverage social media to boost your network
Did you know that some employers use online social platforms, like LinkedIn and Instagram, to connect with and assess prospective employees? Not only is this an opportunity to engage with you but employers can also get a sense for who you are and how you could be a valuable asset to their team. Use your profile to market yourself–show prospective employers why you should be part of their network. Take steps today to develop your digital presence so you're better prepared to connect and network online.
Networking tips and tricks
Professional relationships are invaluable in the job hunt. Check out these networking dos and don'ts from Career Center advisors, Helen Han and Roxanne Farkas, to make sure you're maximizing your networking opportunities and creating strong relationships.
Polish your digital presence
Julián, a senior at UC San Diego majoring in international business, polished his online presence by embedding an introduction video to stand out from the crowd in his search for a full-time job.
make new connections virtually
Sina, a senior at UC San Diego, just completed an internship in public relations. In this video, he shares the value of online networking as he continues his research for an internship or full-time position.
Still not sure where to start?
Look around you–everyone you know is a potential source of career information! Have a conversation with professors, alumni, your friends and family, even acquaintances and discover where your professional interests overlap. They may be able to make a recommendation about a career path or a potential employer that you've never considered. Or, they may be able to connect you with someone in their network who is more familiar with your professional goals.
You can also talk with a Career Center coach and tap into events and other tools designed to help Tritons meet professionals in your intended industry. Take a look at Handshake and participate in employer information sessions, networking events, or job fairs.
Here are some additional ways to meet fellow Tritons and grow your network:
LinkedIn: UC San Diego Alumni
UC San Diego Center for Student Involvement
UC San Diego Professional Community