How Most People Find Jobs

More people get jobs through networking than by responding directly to job ads with a job application.  Typically, only 20-25% of jobs are advertised.

The following resources can be used to jumpstart or upgrade your networking routine. Additionally, please visit the Workshop and Events web page to find out about upcoming networking events.

What is networking & why does it matter?

Networking is still the main way that people discover opportunities for themselves, those they meet (in person or online), and members of their network.  

Networking is the process of meeting people and developing professional relationships with people who may have mutually beneficial information, projects, opportunities, and connections in a relevant professional, industry, or field. 

Many of the most successful people in the world are actively networking with many people everyday – through direct contact and social media platforms.

Networking requires that we:

  • Develop strong active listening skills
  • Get comfortable talking about what we have to offer
  • Discern what is relevant and strategic to share in any given moment
  • Be generous
  • Accept “yesses” and “no’s”
  • Exercise respect
  • Establish trust
  • Follow-through

For some, networking comes naturally.  For most people, networking is a skill that is learned and practiced, over time.  Here are some resources that might help you understand and develop this skill:

Elevator Speech / Networking Pitch

Networking pitches (aka “elevator speeches”) can be scripted and rehearsed. However, when it comes time to use them, they are usually adjusted on the spot to suit a specific person and/or context.

Here are the basic elements of a networking pitch – not all of which need to be included each time you meet a new professional contact.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Identify common ground
  • Highlighting your (potentially) mutually beneficial assets
  • Share relevant goals
  • Offer assistance
  • Ask for assistance
  • Identify a way to follow through with them or each other

Here other resources and models for your consideration:

Interpersonal skills and attitude can have a tremendous impact on our networking style and the results of networking. To the fullest extent possible:

  • Stay positive, curious, and open
  • Respond positively to “no’s” and/or transform “no’s” into “yesses” by exploring / presenting other possibilities
  • Hone your active listening, observation, and information seeking skills over time
Professional Associations

Joining one or more professional associations is a fantastic way to:

  • Learn more about an occupation, industry, or field
  • Build a relevant professional network of contacts
  • Learn about employment opportunities through networking – i.e. before others do
  • Stay current in your field
  • Learn the lingo used in a given industry

To find regional, state, and federal professional associations:

People and technology icons connected by lines and dots to show a network.