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Utilizing Your Current Network

You may not realize it, but you have already started networking. People you are close with, such as friends and families, are routinely interacting with you, offering advice. Now is the time to step it up by treating them like contacts. Start explaining the type of job or career you are looking for and ask if they have any thoughts or suggestions as to who to contact. They may know someone in a related area of work who might be available to talk to you about the company and the industry as a whole.

Making New Connections


Speaking with Mercy College alumni who are currently in the field you are hoping to break into is a wonderful way to network. They have been where you are now and can offer a lot of advice in regards to the industry, potential job openings and key individuals you should add to your network.


A popular social network for businesses is LinkedIn. As you make connections, you will have access to your contacts network and can ask for various introductions. It is a virtual Career Fair of sorts where you can learn valuable information about companies and organizations, as well as the key individuals.

How to Make the Most of LinkedIn:

  • Only connect with individuals you actually know or have been introduced to
  • This may be a social network, but it is a professional one.  Be formal in all comments and inquiries with individuals
  • Ask relevant questions and answer other users' questions
  • Build important, useful contact.  It is about quality, not quantity 
  • Ask for recommendations from supervisors, professors or even Mercy College Alumni
  • Join relevant groups on LinkedIn related to your field of interest
  • Complete your LinkedIn profile to be professional and in-tune with your resume, be sure to have a professional looking profile picture
How to Properly Connect

When you have identified someone with whom you would like to network, it is time to make that initial contact. Either call them on the phone or send them an email to get the conversation started. Besides introducing yourself, you should briefly offer an explanation of how you found that person's contact information, either through a mutual associate, an internet listing, or the individual's own website. Never start off by asking directly for a job. Instead, make an introduction and request an opportunity to learn more about the employer.

Prepare for Contact:

Just like an interview, you should be as prepared as you can before reaching out to connect with somebody. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to network:

  • Be clear on your purpose for networking. Why specifically are you calling or emailing this person?
  • Be self aware. Have your goals and interests clearly in mind.
  • Research, research, research. Learn as much as you can about the person and company with which you are about to connect.
  • Prepare a brief introduction. Whether it is an email or a conversation on the phone, write a few brief sentences that clearly sum up your skills, goals and related experiences.
  • Practice your intro with a colleague, friend or professor.

Remember, your goal with an initial contact is to get a response and keep the conversation going. Always be respectful, considerate and professional.