You have all heard how important networking is for finding a job. Between 70-85% of jobs are never posted anywhere – they are filled through networking. But with everything moving into the virtual space, establishing and maintaining relationships with employers and alumni can be difficult. Here are some tips for how to network in a time of social distancing:
What is the Purpose of Networking?
While the final goal of networking is to learn about job opportunities, you will be much more successful if you focus on building relationships, gaining advice or insider knowledge, and finding ways to help someone else. Alumni want to help students during this challenging time. But if you lead with asking them to connect you to a recruiter, it will feel like the focus of the exchange is on you and not about learning from their expertise and experience. Remember that for many alumni, talking with a student is a way to give back to the UW, so you want to provide a positive and meaningful interaction for both of you.
Start with the People You Know
Reach out to friends, family, professors, and advisers. Everyone is looking for connection right now and many people want to help. But again, focus your communication on wanting to learn, explore, and hear someone’s story.
Set up Informational Interviews with iSchool Alumni
Use the UW Alumni Search Tool and iSchool Alumni Search Tool on LinkedIn to find alumni working in the fields that interest you or at the companies you hope to work at one day (click the Next arrow to filter by “What they studied”). Join the UW Alumni Group and other industry focused groups on LinkedIn to further connect with professionals as well. Your introduction email should include a little about who you are and the things you have in common with the alum or working professional. Share why you are reaching out, focusing on seeking advice rather than asking for a job. Ask if they would be willing to meet with you for a short conversation over Zoom and thank them for their time.
Sample Introduction Email
My name is Anna and I am a current UW student pursuing a degree in Information Management. My long-term goal is to move into a program manager role. I am really interested in the work you are doing with Microsoft and would love to gain any advice you have for someone about to transition from student to professional. Would you be willing to meet with me for a 20 minute Zoom conversation? I have a flexible schedule and can meet whenever is convenient for you.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes, Anna Zhu
Create a List of Questions to Ask
While many informational interviews turn into an organic conversation, it is a good idea to come prepared with questions to ask. Check out this Career Contessa article on questions to ask during an informational interview. Always end the conversation by asking who else you can talk to in their network.
Following Up on Networking Conversations
Any time you network with someone, whether in an informational interview or at an event, it is a good idea to send a follow-up thank you message highlighting some of the things in the conversation you found especially useful. This will allow you to stay at the forefront of their mind and may lead to them reaching out with opportunities in the future.
2019-2020 Graduates: Placement Survey and $50 Raffle
– Win a $50 Visa gift card! –
Are you graduating this year? Fill out your Career Placement Survey, sharing your post-grad plans with us by May 31 to be entered into our weekly raffle.
We drew our first 2 winners today! Will you be next?
Snoopy Pic of the Week!
Snoopy would like to invite you all to take a break and think about this quote by Brené Brown:
We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.
iSchool: More info and registration via iCareers
- May 6th Finding Your Fit Alumni Panel – Zoom; 5 – 6 PM
- May 8th GPSS Grad Career Symposium; 9 AM – 5 PM, Caitlin will be leading a session on “Finding a Job in Tech During a Pandemic” from 1-2pm
View recordings from past events on the Recorded iCareers Sessions page.
Career & Internship Center
- May 6th Virtual Interview Tips with Bill H. from Facebook; 2 PM – 2:45 PM
- May 7th Preparing for the Virtual Job and Internship Fair for International Students; 2:30 – 3 PM
- May 13th UW Virtual Job and Internship Fair; 10 AM – 2 PM
- May 6th National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Info Session; 2 – 3:30 PM
- May 8th PwC Information Session: Consulting in a Virtual World; 1 – 2: 45 PM
- May 11th BlackRock Live Q&A (via hallothere.com); 10 AM – 11 AM
Positions for Consideration
Data Analysis Summer Intern, CrowdStrike, Inc., Handshake
Research Bioinformatics Intern, Eisai Inc., Handshake
App Developer (w/ Gaming focus) UX/UI Designer Intern, OpptIn, Handshake
Intern Software Engineer, Veeva Systems, Handshake
Full Stack or Front End Developer, Tammira, Handshake
Web & Computer Systems Specialist (Student) – Q Center, University of Washington – Seattle, iCareers ID 10732
Media Asset Manager, KEXP, iCareers ID 10723
Law Library of Congress Summer 2020 Fieldwork Opportunities, Law Library of Congress, iCareers ID 10725
Web Archiving Fieldwork, University of Washington Libraries, iCareers ID 10726
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