The Career Engagement Center offers Networking workshops a couple times each year. Check the Master Calendar for more information. There are also networking events with Cornell Alumni during our Road Trips.
Whether you are beginning your job search, investigating careers and organizations, or seeking information about internships, Cornell alumni, parents, and other friends of the college serve as excellent research resources, providing you approach them in a professional manner. Informational interviews can be arranged by contacting our office and can provide you with a valuable view of your potential profession. Although contacting a professional may seem daunting, be assured that most are definitely willing to offer their knowledge and advice.
Benefits of networking include:
* Increased insight into a career field, organization, or specific job
* Awareness of available internship and summer job opportunities
* Reinforced assessment of your interests and needs
* Greater confidence in job and internship interview situations
* Industry contacts
If correctly utilized, these contacts can help you build a powerful career network, which is vital today as two-thirds of the workforce secure jobs through personal contacts. To enhance your networking experience, read through the Career Engagement Center's information on the networking process, questions to ask when networking and etiquette tips, including the following:
* View an email as you would a cover letter; it’s a professional contact
* Check spelling and grammar
* Check gender so you know whether to say Mr. or Ms.
* Choose a professional tone rather than informality
* Always follow-up to let the person know what has happened
The Networking Process
- Assess your interests and skills and choose occupations, career areas, or organizations to investigate. Career Engagement Center staff can help you with self-assessment process.
- Make an appointment with the Career Engagement Center staff to identify potential alumni, parents, or other volunteers for you to contact.
- Contact the people you identified and ask if he/she is willing to answer a few of your questions via e-mail or partake in a telephone informational interview. If you are interested in a phone interview, state clearly in the e-mail the time at which you will call to arrange the interview and follow through with this plan. You can also ask the person to suggest a time by e-mail if he prefers and say you will call to arrange the interview if there is a time conflict or if you don't hear from him. If you want to ask a few questions in an e-mail, ask if this is okay and wait for a response. Remember, these professionals are typically very busy with work and other obligations. Realize you may need to try more than once to contact them and that they may not respond at all. Allow a minimum of one week between your initial contact and a second attempt.
- The subject line of your email should be similar to "Current Cornell College student seeking career information." It is important to be concise yet complete in your email: many people automatically delete lengthy messages or those with suspicious subject headers. Tell the person who you are, where you located her email address, and why you would like an informational interview. Proofread before sending.
- Prepare for this opportunity by researching the field or organization and compiling a list of your questions.
- If you and your contact decide to proceed with email, email him your questions. Make sure you ask what you want to know but do not overwhelm your contact.
- For phone interviews, be sure to call precisely at the agreed upon time and ask your relevant questions in an attentive, interested, and professional manner. Remember to verify time zones if contacting out of Central Standard Time. The interview typically last for 15-30 minutes.
- Send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview or reception of the answers to your e-mailed questions. U.S. mail or e-mail are both appropriate.
- Follow up with your contact if she expressed interest in your search or asked to be kept informed of your career progress.