When you meet a new person in class, at a social event or even in the elevator, you have an opportunity to develop your network. Walton Career Services hopes you will view every opportunity to meet people as a chance to increase your business network. Each year, Walton Career Services brings in professionals from various businesses and industries to present various professional development topics, as well as assist students with development areas such as résumé enhancement and interview skill building.

There are many more uses for networking than just "finding a job." Networking is an activity that takes place every day of our lives, whether job-related or not. Did you talk to someone at breakfast to review what might be on the upcoming exam? That's networking. Did you ask a librarian which reference materials would be the best in preparing a term paper? That's networking. Did you ask friends if they knew of anyone driving home for the weekend? That's networking.

Networking is already far more active in your life than you might have originally thought. The key to making it effective in your job search is to provide clear focus and direction. Following are several objectives to keep in mind when speaking with others about your job search:

  1. To make others aware of your job search and your career focus.
  2. To open up additional lines of communication in the job market.
  3. To increase your knowledge about a particular career field or industry.
  4. To find out more about potential employers.
  5. To discover hidden job opportunities.
  6. To open up the possibility of creating a job where none currently exists.

To achieve your networking objectives, you need to consider each contact with another human being as a potential opportunity to further expand your network. You will come in contact with other people each and every day. How you integrate that contact into your job search network will greatly determine your potential for overall success in your job search. And there are hundreds of people out there who are ready and willing to help.