Networking is the process of establishing contacts and building relationships that can lead to potential jobs or other work-related opportunities. Networking will not lead to results overnight; it is a long-term strategy that will allow you to build a strong community can support you in your career development journey.
Networking involves talking to people in order to build connections that help your career. Make it a habit by reaching out to new people. You can keep track of your contacts in the Job Search Tracking Tool - opens in a new window. Watch the introduction video and go through each step below to find out how to network effectively.
Your 30-second elevator pitch is a short speech that you use to introduce and sell yourself. You introduce yourself by first and last name, and explain what you can do, what you can offer, and what your goals are, all in a 20-30 second timeframe. It shows the people you meet that you’re prepared. This technique is useful for many situations where you meet or talk to employers, such as the following examples:
To prepare your pitch, consider these questions:
Read some examples of elevator pitches: Elevator Pitch Examples - PDF - opens in a new window.
You already have a network: the people you already know, including family, friends, neighbours, classmates, professors, current and previous coworkers and managers, etc. Make a list of people in your network, including their contact information. Talk to them about your job search and the kind of work you are looking for.
Ways to utilize your existing networks:
Cold contacting is when you contact a person who you have not previously met in order to get information. Cold contacts can be made over the phone or by email. You can also do this in-person by stopping by and asking to speak with the hiring manager about potential job opportunities.
Do the following when cold contacting:
Cold contacting is one of the situations where your elevator pitch will be useful.
Read an example of how to cold contact: Cold Contacting Script Example - PDF - opens in a new window
Cold contacting is more useful in some industries than others. Use your judgment of your own industry, and the following guidelines to know if cold contacting is appropriate:
Gaining experience as a student is a good way to get hands-on experience that prepares you for employment once you graduate. It is also a good way to meet and impress people in the field.
Gaining hands-on experience in your education in known as experiential learning. Below are some examples of experiential learning opportunities that may be part of your college program:
If your program does not include an experiential learning component, there are other ways of gaining experience, such as the following positions:
Attending these events is a great opportunity to expand your network and meet with employers in your industry. Employers are prepared to speak with you directly about your experience and skills.
A recruitment agency is a company that is hired by employers to assist them in finding suitable candidates to fill their positions. The agency will typically meet with you and conducting a brief interview to set up a profile. They will then let you know if an opportunity presents itself.
Here are a few recruitment agencies: