Networking is all about speaking to people and making contacts to help you in your career. These contacts may be able to help by:

  • Giving you advice about your future career, including the skills you’ll need to succeed
  • Sharing insights into a career path or employer
  • Offering you work experience or giving you advice on how to get your foot in the door
  • Signposting you to job opportunities
  • Helping you to meet new contacts

Developing your network will take time and effort. Many students (and professionals) find it nerve-wracking and not everyone will be willing and able to help. It’s a good idea to start small and build your confidence (and contacts) from there.  

How do I build my network?

  • Start with who you know – speak to family, friends, lecturers and colleagues who may be able to help you directly, or put you in touch with someone else.
  • Get involved with relevant activities and organisations, such as course-specific projects and events, local groups and professional organisations. If you’re attending an event, do some research beforehand and prepare a few questions you might like to ask.
  • Social media – both LinkedIn and Twitter can be great tools for networking with professionals and employers online.
  • You could also reach out to a professional or organisation by email.


How do I use my network?

Think about what you want to achieve – do you want to talk to someone about getting work experience, learn more about their experiences, get advice or find a job?

If you’re meeting with someone to find out information, do some research in advance and prepare some questions to ask. Here are some examples:

  • Tell me about your current role
  • Tell me about your career path so far
  • What was the recruitment process for your role?
  • What type of work experience was useful to help you get your job?
  • What skills are essential/useful for this sector?
  • What advice could you give me about using my time at university effectively?
  • Are there any recruitment agencies I could sign up with?
  • Do you know anyone else who could give me advice/information?