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Networking is important in helping you find the most up-to-date, personal and in-depth information about jobs, careers and departments. Whether you need more information about job opportunities, career enhancement or other University cultures, connecting with other employees is critical.
Networking can provide you with facts about day-to-day job responsibilities, educational and experiential requirements, and essential qualifications for different careers. It can also provide you with "insider information," the personal perspectives of employees who work in the jobs, careers or departments you are considering.
Networking is about building or maintaining relationships. It can take many forms, such as meeting and getting to know colleagues at conferences, serving on committees, taking classes, volunteering or information interviewing. Whatever form, the purpose of networking is to:
One popular form of effective networking is requesting an information interview. An information interview is a formal conversation that you request to get more information about a possible new career, department, or potential opportunities that fit your skills, interests and experiences. There are three types of information interviews, information only , advice and suggestions and job prospecting .
In the information only interview , you ask for information because you are interested in more information about the job, career field or department. You will ask iabout the education/training required, the nature of entry level jobs, and the outlook for the future. You may also want more information about the work performed in the field and common work culture and environment. In this type of information interview, you need only find someone currently working in that job or someone who was recently working in that job.
Common questions for an information only interview are as follows:
You use an advice and suggestions information interview to find out more about the fit between your background and a job or career that you have decided you have interest in. To have a successful advice and suggestions interview you need to find someone who knows what credentials, qualifications, education and experience are most sought after. Usually, this sort of person has been in the job for many years or is the supervisor of someone in a similar position.
When you meet with the person, bring a completed application or resume with you. Think about what questions you have in advance. Here are some sample questions:
The third kind of information interview is the job prospecting information interview . In this form, you use the interview to uncover possible job leads. You can do this when you find a job posted in the Job Center and want to find out more about it or you are interested in a particular department and want to know if they anticipate any openings in the future.
Questions you might ask include:
If you are meeting with a department where there is no job posting, read anything you can about the department ahead of time. Formulate questions about what kinds of jobs exist in the department and how they might match your qualifications. Some questions include: