Develop Your Network
Why should I care about networking?
It’s Not About Who You Know, It’s Who Knows About You!
Don't be put off by the word "networking," or its perceived sleaziness. 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 the same thing.
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?
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 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 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.
Information on following 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, visit cctigerlink.com. You have the option to join with LinkedIn or
Your first time logging in:
1. Provide up-to-date information for your profile.
2. 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 photos, learn about events, read CC news, and more.
- To find alumni, click on the Directory tab in the site’s upper navigation bar.
- You can use the search bar at the top of the Directory to search for specific alumni, companies, or by keyword; use the Refine your search tool on the right side of the page to filter alumni by location, degree, class year; place of work, and/or ways in which they’re willing to help.
- 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. Asking directly for a job is unprofessional.
For questions about Tiger Link, contact Matt Edwards; Assistant Director, Student/Family & Alumni Engagement