80% of jobs are never listed,meaning they are found through personal connections and networking! Thus, 80% of your job search should revolve around utilizing your current network, maintaining your network though regular communication and follow-up and exploring new networking opportunities (e.g., conferences, professional meetings, alumni events). While online job searches are important, they should only consume 20% of your job-seeking energy.

Networking Basics

  • Leave no stone unturned
  • Be resume ready
  • Start Close to home
  • Who do you already know? Seize every opportunity to publicize your job search: clubs, professional organizations members, volunteer contacts, merchants, civic leaders, neighbors, classmates, former classmates, school alumni, teacher/professors, coaches, coworkers former coworkers, bosses, friends’ bosses, religious affiliation members even the cab driver, everyone!
  • Make a list of people you know
  • Keep a record of your contacts
  • Find a reason to call
  • Use your Temple alumni association
  • Check out professional organization web sites for networking events or join a local chapter

Networking Tips

The Thirty-Second Spot or Elevator Pitch

This is an introduction to who you are and what you are looking for. Choose your words carefully—this is no time to wing it. How you represent yourself will determine if you get any further with this contact. Be short and concise, but add a specific instance to grab attention.

A strong thirty second spot should:

  • Begin with an indication of who you are and a characteristic that will set you apart from your cohort (e.g., Do you know someone affiliated with this person or organization?, Have you worked for a prestigious company?, Do you have a strong academic background?)
  • Contain the purpose of the conversation
  • Showcase the research you have done on the company
  • Feature your accomplishments and qualifications
  • Indicate how the person can assist you


Business Cards

  • Cards must include your name, telephone number, and e-mail.
  • Include an identifying detail to remind the recipient of who you are/information you are looking for. (This is especially important for experienced people with specific goals.)
  • Don’t go anywhere without them!
  • Use a business card holder - Don’t throw business cards in your purse or carry them in a rubber-banded wad or stuck in your wallet. Dirty business cards with dog-eared edges are turnoffs.
  • Don’t run out of cards. Don’t write your information on the back of someone else’s business card. If you do run out of cards, get their card and follow up by sending your own with your resume/cover letter.
  • Don’t ever give a business card with information scratched out from your last place of employment. It’s unprofessional and sloppy.
  • Don’t carry other people’s cards mixed in with yours. You’re bound to waste time fumbling for your card and could accidentally give out theirs.

Sample Business Card

Terry A. Templeton

Temple University
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Graduation Expected: May 2013

215.222.2222 • ttempleton@temple.edu

Informational Interviews

Informational Interviews can be used to explore career options and expand your network. You can ask people in your network for informational interviews, or you can ask for them to recommend others with whom you should speak about a career path or industry. Approach an informational interview request via e-mail, phone or mail. Be sure to indicate that you are asking the informational interviewee to provide you with 20-30 minutes of his/her time to discuss his/her experiences in his/her job or career field. Interviews are best held in person, but can also take place via the phone. E-mail should be your last resort.

Your informational interview request should:

  • Include a brief introduction about yourself;
  • Indicate why you are writing to this individual;
  • State your interests or experiences in the person's field, organization or location;
  • Why you would like to converse. Be straightforward; tell him/her you are asking for information and advice.
  • Should always include a sentence about how and when you will contact this person again.

Informational Interview Resources

Thank You Notes

A thank you note is one of the surefire ways to make yourself memorable and let someone know their time was valued after a networking meeting, function, or interview.

  • Always write (e-mail is fine) within 24 hours of your phone call or interview
  • Get the names right and spell all names correctly!
  • Remind them why you’re contacting them
  • Thank them in specific terms - Reference an element of your conversation
  • Keep it short and focused
  • Attach a business card or copy of your resume, if appropriate