What is networking?
Networking is about talking to people and asking for help from people you already know. It can also introduce you to someone who can help you. You can easily start to develop your own network of useful contacts by talking to your friends and family about your job search. Generally, people are very happy to help others if they can. Whether you are networking to find out about a potential career area or to tap into the hidden job market, you will be more successful when you are clear about what you want and what you have to offer.
Our careers leaflet on Networking (PDF) has useful information on where to begin and how to approach your target.
Network to tap into the hidden job market
The hidden job market refers to the many jobs that never get advertised. Some estimates put these hidden job vacancies at more than 50% of the employment market.
Network to get information
An information interview is a brief, structured meeting with someone who has first hand knowledge of a career or industry. You could find out about how to get relevant experience and training and how your career might develop. Or even change your mind about an option based on the information you have gathered from the interview.
- Use your careers service for practical help with targeting your CVs, writing a covering letter and in preparing for an information interview.
- Attend a workshop and/or take advantage of 15 minute drop in sessions with a careers consultant or book in advance for a longer appointment.
- Sign up for the eMentoring scheme.
- Watch the AGCAS video clip on networking (AU user name and password required)
- Read and act on careers service leaflets such as:
- Getting Started - How the Careers Service can help you (PDF)
- Making the Most of Your Time with a Careers Consultant (PDF)
- CV's (PDF)
- Covering Letters (PDF)
- Work Experience (PDF)
- Speculative Applications (PDF)
- All about Interviews (PDF)
- What Do Employers Really Want (PDF)
- Finding Graduate Work in Aberystwyth and Mid Wales (PDF)
Don't forget that everyone wants to help!
Don't assume you are being a nuisance. Many of us feel uncomfortable about approaching other people and asking for help. In fact, most people are more than willing to talk to someone who is just starting out and will be flattered to be thought of as an expert and impressed by your enthusiasm. Don't forget, you too will be in a position to offer someone this help yourself one day.