The good news is that networking is easier than you think. You are probably already doing it!
Networking is about making connections and building mutually beneficial relationships with professionals who can support your career development, and searching for work experience or employment.
Networking will help you gain industry sector insight, introduce career paths and companies, from industry professionals. The more you know about the profession and sector, the better placed you are to make well-informed career decisions.
It can also help you identify opportunities that may not be formally advertised (the hidden job market) and offer insights that will help you when making applications and attending interviews.
Successful networking will:
An example starter question for networking either face-to-face or over email could be:
‘I’m exploring my options after I leave Manchester Met University and I am interested in pursuing a career in the Digital sector. Would you be able to give me some advice about what skills are essential for this sector and how you gained relevant work experience?’
Always be professional. Remember, networking is a two-way process and should be an open discussion. Your contact may not be able to respond to your query right away.
The best people to give you advice about your job search are those who have been through the same experience. Talk to someone who is working in a job or career area that interests you. They can provide you with valuable insight, new contacts and possible work experience opportunities.
Think friends, family, family friends, academic staff and previous employers. Are they working, or have worked, in a role or sector which interests you? Get in touch via email, social media or by arranging a meeting, and start building your connections.
280,000 Man Met alumni living across the world
10,000+ new graduates joining the alumni community each year
Visit the Alumni website to read Alumni stories and learn from the Alumni Ambassadors: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/alumni/meet/
125,534 Man Met University alumni on School LinkedIn page
The Careers and Employability Service organises a variety of events each term to give you the opportunity to meet employers from a range of sectors. Use CareerHub to keep up to date of employer led events and networking opportunities.
Many employers host insight days/evenings that will also help you to develop your networking skills. Prospects.ac.uk provide a detailed list of employer events and insight days taking place across the UK on their website here: www.prospects.ac.uk/events
Careers Fairs are a fantastic way to meet with employers, find out more about organisations and discover exciting job opportunities. The following information is designed to ensure that you make the most of the expert help available on the day!
“Not all employers will have business cards, so you may need to be creative finding ways to get key contact details. LinkedIn is another great way to connect and network”
Check the Fair programme in advance - Find out which organisations will be attending. There may also be presentations, talks, panel forums and workshops throughout the day.
Research the exhibitors you want to approach - Visit employers’ websites to gain an understanding of their background, recruitment process and potential opportunities.
Use your research to prepare a few questions - Tailor your questions to demonstrate your interest in what the employers do.
Ensure your CV / LinkedIn profile is up to date – Not many employers will accept CVs on the day, but will be required post-fair. Personalise your CV to suit the sector(s) you are interested in.
Present yourself well - Think about the professional image you want to project. Smile and be yourself.
Ask relevant questions - This is your chance to find out about a job from the people who do them. Think about the company's work culture and their company values. What is the application process? It is also your chance to find out more about graduate schemes or internship opportunities.
Take notes - Note down the names of the people you speak to and a reminder of the conversation to make future contact easier.
Keep an open mind - Don’t dismiss companies you haven’t heard of, speak to fellow job seekers and compare notes.
Try to follow up with each employer you spoke to during the event with an email. Remember to refer to the date and location of the fair, include parts of the conversation you had with the employer so that it makes it easier for them to remember you. Finally, include a copy of your CV / LinkedIn profile url within the email.
Twitter and LinkedIn are useful online platforms for networking and researching companies and finding other professionals who are working or interested in your sector.
Our Using Social Media for Job Hunting careers guide may be of interest to you.
Google your name: Do you need to remove/set up privacy settings to keep social content to a minimum? Use LinkedIn to create a professional online presence.
You can have a professional online presence and a private one: By using privacy settings on social media you can continue to use social media professionally and socially.
Is your email address professional? If no, change it.
If you are starting to build your network, a good starting point can be to connect with friends and family, lecturers, current colleagues, University and company pages.
It will help to keep you up to date of opportunities, news and culture. You can also use the Manchester Met LinkedIn page to find alumni working in your sector of interest.
Engaging through re-tweeting and commenting starts conversations and can help to get you noticed. You could even share examples of your work, blog posts or videos to improve your online identity.
Step 1 Log-in to My Career Hub with your username and password
Step 2 Click ‘Launch MMyou Careers Centre’ in the navigation menu
Search for the following titles on the MMyou homepage
We offer range of support services to Manchester Met students and graduates:
The online careers centre you can access 24/7 to view career resources, advice and tips, career quizzes and information tailored to your sector.
Get online advice through My Career Hub, ask your question at any time and receive support via email.
Book an appointment with one of our Careers Advisors through My Career Hub or call 0161 247 3483.