A-Z Index

Networking and Social Media

Everyone has a network; it’s just a matter of thinking broadly and creatively about who is in it. Social media has opened up countless new ways to network virtually with virtually anyone.

Five Steps to Successful Networking

Step 1. Understand that networking is really just a process of meeting people and having conversations. It's not a sales call and it's not a job interview.

Step 2. Be directive, but not forceful. Since you are typically the one who generated this interaction, you need to be ready to help steer the conversation. Have some questions in mind beforehand about the person's career path, their organization, and advice they may have for you. Let the dialog flow from there.

Step 3. Be appreciative. You should always respect the time and efforts of the people you interact with. That means be brief if you call without scheduling a meeting, be on time if you do have a scheduled meeting and be attentive at all times.

Step 4. Follow up. You should always send a follow-up after meeting someone. This can be in the form of an email, a mailed letter or even a connection request on LinkedIn. If the meeting was in a formal setting, the follow up should have the tone of a "thank you" letter.

Step 5. Maintain the relationship. The follow up doesn't stop with an email or LinkedIn connection. Look for opportunities to reconnect on an occasional-but-ongoing basis in the months and years that follow.

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Networking at Events

Look for ways to meet and mingle with working professionals. Career Services provides multiple career events throughout the fall and spring semesters as well as a list of off-campus events. Check the Career Services events schedule for details and additional information.

Students should also consider other options for networking, which can include professional groups or association meetings, the Chamber of Commerce groups and more generalized industry or geographically-oriented networking events. See the links below for examples of local networking events and organizations

Connecting with Alums

Connecting with Northwest alumni can be one of the best approaches to networking. Members of the Bearcat family have loyalty to Northwest and are often happy to help students with networking and informational interviewing.

There are many options for locating and connecting with graduates of Northwest. In addition to Northwest alumni groups on social media outlets like LinkedIn and Facebook, you can attend alumni chapter meetings in a variety of locations.

Social Networking

Social Media has become a part of our daily lives, but these outlets can benefit your job search in several areas, including information on trends and news, serving as a place to locate jobs and internships and expanding your network. There is a wide array of social media sites that you can utilize. We recommend you consider the following:

There are a variety of other tools and sites that you can use to develop your personal brand and incorporate into your job search strategy, including online portfolios and participating in sharing networks (, SoundCloud, etc.).  Like most career-related activities, you should initiate these as part of a larger strategy to emphasize your personal skills and values.  Explore opportunities and decide what avenues are best for your goals.

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How to Use provides the opportunity to stay in touch with your professional connections.  However, it does much more than that, other aspects of the site can provide an amazing amount of value to your career exploration or job search activities.  Here is how we recommend that you use LinkedIn.

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