Whether you are exploring future internship or career options or have a path in mind, networking with professionals is always a good idea. Here are some tips to get you started – even from your couch!
Where do I network?
- LinkedIn: Check out the Bucknell University Page and then Click “Alumni”. This will give you a data set of everyone who went to Bucknell who is on LinkedIn. Sort by location, company, major, and more!
- BucknellConnect.com: This site is exclusively for Bucknellians and contains the Alumni Directory (60,000+people!).
- Don’t forget about the clubs, honor societies, Greek organizations, athletic teams, and other groups that you belong to.
What do I say when I reach out?
- Be Concise- 5-7 lines is typically sufficient
- Provide Clarity
- Reason for writing
- Best time to be reached
- Phone number/Email
- Pique Their Interest-Provide a brief description of yourself or the commonality that you share
- Request an Action-What information would you like to discuss and when/how would you like to connect with them?
Sample Networking Message
Hello. My name is __________ and I am a senior at Bucknell University. I found your name through the Bucknell Alumni Directory and thought I would reach out to you regarding my interest in __________. I am a __________ major and I am very eager to learn more about what you do at __________ as you are in an industry of interest to me and I would like to start to determine exactly what I want to pursue after graduation. Please let me know if you would have time to speak and we can schedule a mutually convenient time to connect. Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Additional Tips for Networking:
- RELAX. Be professional and appropriate, but understand that you are talking with people who have been in your shoes
- It takes practice. Networking is about communicating and connecting with people. Not every conversation will be smooth.
- Do some research by reviewing their LinkedIn profile and current company website in order to prepare some questions. Be able to articulate why you wanted to reach out to them and how it relates to you and your goals.
- Follow-up (a couple times if you need to)-Emails sometimes go to spam folders, so if you don’t hear back from someone, try again.
- Maintain relationships by connecting and interacting with people and posts on LinkedIn
- Show value and appreciation for the person’s time-Be clear about your “ask” and send a “thank-you” after the conversation
Thanks to our career counselor/coach Rachel Redmond for these tips and suggestions.