It’s Not Who You Know, but Who You Get to Know (Networking)
Networking is nearly always cited as being the most effective job search approach for Liberal Arts graduates. Networking entails contacting everyone you know and asking for advice, information, and job leads, as well as developing new relationships to increase your knowledge base and to explore possibilities.
Not sure how to approach people you don’t know? Draft an e-mail or letter to one of your potential contacts and bring it by the Career Center during Drop-Ins or make an appointment with an advisor for help proofreading your correspondence, as well as to discuss strategy. We also cover e-mail etiquette in the PPEP program.
- Make a list of contacts (people you know and people you want to know)
- Tell your advisor, faculty, friends, family, etc. that you’re looking for a job
- Initiate contact to set up informational interviews with people in career fields of interest
- Connect with Colby alumni in your field or in organizations of interest using the online alumni & student network, Colby Connect.
- Utilize LinkedIn; join the Colby College Professional Networking Group
- Join Professional Associations (see What Can I Do With This Major?)
- When you get tips, assistance, etc., follow-up with a thank you e-mail or letter
Also, consider these networks you can use to your advantage:
- Other LinkedIn groups – engage in discussions within groups
- Twitter – follow organizations of interest and participate in chats related to professional interests
- Personal Network – family, friends, family friends, friends’ families, co-workers
- Professional/Academic Network – former/current supervisors, professors, advisers, coaches
- Professional associations – search for industry groups and join associations relevant to your career interests. Attend events hosted by the associations. Access Vault.com to get access to associations across all industries and professions.
- Colby alumni are an excellent resource for career guidance and referrals that can ultimately lead to internship opportunities. The use of the alumni community will be greatly enhanced by spending a brief session with a career counselor, where you can learn both the techniques for searching the database as well as strategies for how to approach alumni for assistance.