What is networking?

Networking is developing and maintaining relationships with people who can provide you with information, advice, and referrals. It is a critical part of your career development path, since it can help you: 

  • Increase your visibility in your field. You can get to know peers and employers who share your career interests
  •  Market your skills, knowledge, and abilities to contacts in your field of interest
  • Find the unseen/hidden job market since 80-85% of jobs that are never advertised are filled by referrals through existing employees or industry contacts (i.e. the people you network with)
  •  Stay up to date with industry trends and changes in the job market

What is informational interviewing?

Informational Interviewing is a way to learn more about and explore career, company, industry, and graduate school options. An informational interview is usually a 20–30-minute conversation with a professional who is speaking about their experiences and career and may also cover what a "day in the life of..." would be like.   

  The Ladders has a great article on 64 sample questions to ask in an informational interview.   

64 Sample Questions

  Career Contessa’s 15 revealing questions is another good blog post, focused on why these are good questions to ask. 

15 Revealing Questions

LinkedIn and Networking 

LinkedIn is the #1 platform for networking. LinkedIn allows you to create a profile to represent your professional self, connect with people you know, search and connect with people you don’t know for the purpose of learning about their career paths, get career advice by following hashtags and career experts, and find internships and jobs. 

How Hashtags Can Help Your Job SearchLearn from the ExpertsUsing LinkedIn to Search for Internships

Assessment Activity (Homework)

Complete the task below and submit your work to idoffice@wpi.edu:

Create a networking tip sheet for yourself that includes at least 3 different sections and 5 tips for each section. (15 tips total)