Networking & Social Media

Networking refers to a give and take process of connecting with people and building lasting relationships. It’s about meeting new people, sharing information, and learning about potential opportunities and various career fields.

5 Steps to Successful Networking

  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.

  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, about their organization, about advice they may have for you, and so forth. Let the dialog flow from there.

  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.

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

  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.

Career Fairs

Career Fairs are an ideal way to connect with multiple employers all at once and are effective in lining up a job before you graduate. All TROY students are encouraged to attend career fairs once a semester. Contact your campus career office for dates and locations. Attending employers can be viewed within Handshake for the Troy Campus.

Connecting with Alumni

Connecting with TROY alumni can be one of the best approaches to networking. Members of the Trojan family have a lot of loyalty to Troy University and are often happy to help students with networking and informational interviewing.

A few options for connecting with TROY alumni include joining alumni groups on social medial outlets such as LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as taking part in the alumni ProNet option on Handshake. Connect with alumni willing to serve as mentors by choosing the “Networking” tab in Handshake.

Social Media

The use of social media in career-related activities has increased dramatically in recent years. These relatively-new outlets can benefit you in several areas, including keeping you informed of trends and news, serving as a place to source jobs and internships, and allowing you to expand your network. There is a wide array of social media sites that you can utilize, and the popularity of each will ebb and flow as technology and trends dictate.

  • LinkedIn – This professional networking site provides you the opportunity to establish a professional online identity, participate in conversations on relevant topics, and make connections with professionals in your industry or career path.
    Key tip: To get the most out of LinkedIn seek out and participate in “LinkedIn groups” of interest.

  • Twitter – This social media tool can also be a great way for you to interact with people of similar professional interests from across the globe. Additionally, companies are increasingly using Twitter to promote jobs and internships.
    Key tip: Use “hashtag” searches (e.g. #jobs or #internships and) “follow” companies of interest to find opportunities.

  • Facebook – This social networking site likely needs no introduction or instruction on usage. But, be sure that your activities on Facebook won’t give prospective employers “red flags” about you as a candidate. Check your photos, videos and comments for professionalism.
    Key tip: Utilize Facebook’s privacy settings to disallow public viewing of tagged photos, wall posts and other aspects of your profile (or make your profile entirely unsearchable).

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