Develop Your Network

Why should I care about networking?

It's Not About Who You Know, It's Who Knows About You!

Some are put off by the word "networking," feeling these connections are not genuine. Networking is not about using people; it's about building relationships with others who can share their knowledge or resources with you, knowing that one day someone is going to come to you for similar support.

Networking is building and maintaining professional relationships to help you learn more about areas of interest as well as locate and obtain employment, and is one of the most effective ways of finding a job. As you might guess, most employers prefer to hire people who come with a recommendation from someone they know.

For more, read our Networking and Informational Interview Guide.

How do I network?

In-Person Networking

There are many different ways to build your network. One way to network face-to-face is to attend networking events that allow you to interact with new people. There are networking events hosted by professional associations, as well as career conferences, industry trade shows, and even alumni networking events. Keep an eye on the Career Center's newsletters to see when we are offering networking opportunities.

Networking Emails

Networking emails are any communication you send to someone via email, LinkedIn, or Tiger Link to learn more about their career, search for opportunities, request a meeting, or follow up after meeting them.

To write an effective email networking message:

  • Include a descriptive subject line.
  • Never address your email "To whom it may concern;" always use the person's name and proper title.
  • Explain how you heard about them, or remind them when and where you met.
  • Keep your message as brief as possible, but remember to ask for what you're looking for (an informational interview, leads on opportunities, etc.)
  • Thank them for their time.

Following Up

Following up is the single most important part of networking. You build your network by arranging informational interviews and attending networking events; you maintain your network by following up. People across industries express frustration over never hearing back from an individual they have helped. Don't be that person! Stay in contact with people that have helped you. For help on how to follow up, read our Networking and Informational Interview Guide or schedule an appointment with a Career Coach.

Whether for a formal interview or an informational interview it's always important to follow up after an interview.

How do I network with alumni?

Alumni and Tiger Link

Check out Tiger Link, CC's own professional networking platform compatible with LinkedIn. You can connect with alumni and family of CC who can assist in exploring careers and industries, learning about companies/organizations, and answering other career-related questions. The platform facilitates alumni and student mentoring relationships by allowing students to search the alumni directory for people who are willing to help.

To set up your profile, follow the directions below:

Your first-time logging in:

  • Email and ask to have the Tiger Link Invitation sent to you.
  • You may need to wait to be approved by our staff; this could take up to one business day.

Did you have a Tiger Link account prior to August 1, 2021?

We switched to a new and improved platform. You will need to set up a new account!

  • Email and ask to have the Tiger Link Invitation sent to you.
  • You may need to wait to be approved by our staff; this could take up to one business day.

After the initial set up:

  • Explore Tiger Link's features! You can view mentor profiles, participate in discussion boards, see referrals, and more.
  • To find alumni, click on the "Mentors" tab in the site's upper navigation bar.
  • You can use the search menu at the top of the Mentors page to search for specific industries, majors, or locations by keyword; use the "More Filters" tab to further refine your search.   
  • Complete the "matching quiz" to find curated mentors.
  • Note that an individual's profile indicates exactly what kind of help they're willing to give to students; find people who can provide the help you're looking for. Keep it professional and don't overstep.
  • Don't ask for a job, ask for information and advice.

For questions about Tiger Link, contact Natalie Cepeda; Career Center Office Manager.

Did you know...?

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/13/2021