Networking Professionally in Your Field
Networking is the practice of developing professional relationships and utilizing those relationships to help you achieve your career goals. Networking is a valuable way to find job opportunities and obtain positions.
Individuals in your everyday life including friends, family, classmates, professors, supervisors, co-workers, and members of professional associations within your industry can be helpful resources during your search.
Some suggested ways to network are:
- Attend career fairs.
- Schedule an informational interview.
- Go to an employer information session.
- Create a LinkedIn profile – LinkedIn is a great way to search for and connect with employers in your field of interest.
- Join a club or student organization and network with peers – Upperclassmen may be able to share information about their own co-op experiences and connect you with recent graduates working in a career field you are interested in.
The more people you can connect with, the better. The connection can be through email, phone, or social media, but talking to someone face-to-face has the potential to make a lasting impression. Start with what is comfortable for you and then expand your methods of outreach. People will not know your skills or interests, your career goals, your co-op job search process, or your questions unless you make the effort to tell them. Networking takes time, but most often it will yield the best results in your job search. You will need to be your biggest fan and advocate in your job search – be ready to showcase your skills and promote your experiences when the situation calls for it.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, always be ready to meet people and use your 30-second commercial. Refer to Interviewing Tips for information on the 30-second commercial, including how to craft one and when to use it to your advantage.
Global Philadelphia has put together a list of student networking opportunities (below). While this list is not exhaustive, it is a great place to start and provides some great ideas to help you begin thinking about in-person networking opportunities throughout the area.
Sixteen Suggested Organizations for Networking in Philadelphia
- Technical.ly Philly – Philly Tech Week
- Philadelphia After Work
- Young Professional Network Philly
- Citizen Diplomacy International – First Thursday Networking Events
- Small Business Expo
- Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvania
- Young Caribbean Professional Network
- Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce/Select Greater Philadelphia
- World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
- Open Access PHL
- Young Involved Philadelphia
- International House Speaker Series
- Philadelphia Business Journal/WHYY
- Campus Philly
- Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
- United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia
- Colleges: Colleges host alumni and current student networking events all the time, so check your school calendar.
- City Events: The city of Philadelphia hosts a variety of events and celebrations that work perfectly for networking.
- Art Museum: First Sunday networking events.
- Meetup.com has some niche groups from Philadelphia that will fit you.
- Many cultural organizations offer "Young Friends of..." memberships and meetings.
- Look at career specific organizations like: Bar Association, Public Relations Society, and Society of Marketing Professionals.