Networking is the process of gathering contacts and building strong professional relationships. Developing and maintaining positive rapports with professors, peers and professionals can lead to future opportunity and success.
According to recruiters, roughly 60-80% of jobs are found through professional networking. Identify your contacts early so you can draw on and expand your existing network.
Your existing network consists of family, friends, professors, current and former supervisors, team and club members and many other individuals you interact with on a regular basis. Drawing on these contacts can be extremely beneficial during your job and internship search.
Develop a list of your contacts to help identify members of your network. In addition to the abovementioned sources, refer to the Fordham Alumni Directory for new contacts. Many of these individuals will often share similar backgrounds, interests or goals, which can facilitate the development of strong professional relationships.
Identify Existing Contacts
Friends & Family
Professors & Advisors
Student Clubs & Organizations
Supervisors & Colleagues
Develop New Contacts
Job & Internship Experience
On-Campus & Volunteer Experience
Career Services & Alumni Networks
Employer Presentations & Networking Events
Professional & Trade Associations
Refer to your network for career-related advice, information and job and internship leads. Continue to develop your network by seeking new contacts along the way.
Gain inside information about your area of interest
Receive advice on how to enter and advance in your field
Observe the corporate climate and day-to-day work environment
Develop additional contacts and enhance your professional network
Improve your communication skills and correspond with professionals
A follow-up email is an excellent way to maintain contact after an initial meeting. Send a follow-up email several weeks after a “thank you” email to reignite communication with a contact or prospective employer. This will provide the opportunity to restate your interest in a specific role, as well as to check for new leads or information.
A follow-up letter can also supplement an application. If you have not heard back from the employer, send a follow-up letter to reemphasize your interest in the role. Include:
Appreciation for the initial meeting
Purpose of contact (e.g., status update, etc.)
Sample Follow-up Letter
Remember, there is more than one way to write a follow-up letter. Please feel free to schedule an appointment with a counselor to tailor your documents to your unique professional goals.
Social media provides access to valuable career-related information as well as serves as an excellent networking tool. Being web savvy and knowledgeable about media sites, terms and trends can significantly lend to your professional development.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site with over 100 million members. Connect to your contacts as well as a broad range of industry experts. View the LinkedIn “Job Search” section and seek opportunities by company, industry, location, post-date and more.
Create a Profile
Adopt a clear and concise layout
Include education, experience, professional affiliations, websites and blogs
Build a Network
Connect with existing and new contacts
Add prospective references who can verify your work experience
Refer to professors, supervisors, club leaders and peers
Join groups and interact with group members
Use the “Answers” section to enhance your visibility. Address the questions in your area of proficiency or suggest contacts who can offer expertise
Facebook and Twitter are commonly used for casual social networking. However, when used appropriately, these avenues can be effective professional networking tools. When used for this purpose, manage your online presence and maintain a professional account.