Networking Basics

When exploring career paths, the people you meet can provide support, advice, and information on your career goals. When you are ready to search for jobs, your network can help you to identify open positions before they are advertised, greatly increasing your chances of finding a job. In fact, up to 80% of jobs are found and secured through networking.

Mastering the Elevator Pitch: Branding Yourself in 60 Seconds (or Less!) – A self-study online module available to current UIC students on Blackboard.  The module takes less than 10 minutes to complete.  Note:  Students will need to register for the Career Readiness 101 online course on Blackboard to access the course (non-credit).

Networking Tools

Informational Interviewing

Informational Interviews are the most effective way to learn about a potential career or place of employment.  It is a critical and highly effective job seeker’s tool to gather information, seek advice on your career goals, and develop professional relationships – but never bluntly ask for a job.  You are interviewing for information, not an actual position.   Benefits of information interviewing:

  • Obtain insider knowledge on current trends, hot topics in your career area
  • Make a personal contact in the career area for questions and information sharing
  • Get advice of how to be a successful candidate when seeking a job


Social Events

It is becoming more common for employers to use social events such as a social or dinner event to identify potential job candidates.  Employers often use these events to assess attendees’ fit and alignment with their company culture in addition to sizing up skills and aptitude.  While not as formal as an interview, social events can be critical ways for job seekers to establish professional relationships and stand out as a potential job candidate.  Check out the following articles for tips and recommendations of maximizing attendance at social events.

Social Networking:  LinkedInTM 

LinkedInTM is a social networking and career resource for individuals to locate and network with professionals in a career or industry (e.g., informational interviews) or to stay current on trends in a career area (e.g., online discussions).