Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

Networking and Social Media

​What is Networking?

“An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support.”
Networking is connecting with others to share information and contacts.  It is an excellent way to gain access to people, opportunities, and stay informed of new trends within a field.
The main benefit of networking is to increase the number and range of opportunities you explore.  It is estimated that somewhere between 65% - 85% of all positions are filled through some form of networking.  This is what is known as the “Hidden Job Market.” 

​Purpose of Networking

The purpose of networking is NOT to get a job.  Yes, the outcome of networking will be employment.
The purpose of networking is to increase your visibility by obtaining three things:
  1. Information
  2. Contacts
  3. Professional support and development (these contacts can become mentors, teachers, leaders, etc.)
If you are meeting with a “decision maker,” you make a good impression on them, and they have a need for someone to fill the kind of position you are researching (whether they’ve advertised or not), they WILL turn the conversation in that direction.

Why People Will Network With You

· They know you.
· You are referred to them by someone they know.
· You are like-minded professionals with things in common.
· It is good business.
· People like to help others.

Where To Work

Ideally, you want to talk with people who are working in your field of interest.  There are thousands of professional and industry associations in the United States.  There is an association for almost anything you can imagine.


Step 1:             Make a list of people you know – brainstorm.
Step 2:           Rank and order them by who you want to meet with first. 
                            (Tip: Set up your first couple of meetings with people you are at
                            ease with so you can get practice and reach a comfort level with
                            these types of meetings).
Step 3:            Contact them to set up a 15-20 minute informational interview.

Step 4:
            Meet with them.
                                   • Ask good questions.
                                   • Get referrals to other people.
Step 5:             Send a Thank You note or email within 24 hours of your meeting
Step 6:             Contact referrals to schedule a 15-20 minute informational
Step 7:            Report back to people you met with to let them know how
                             meetings with referrals went (a great way to maintain your
                             visibility and re-connect).
Step 8:             Repeat Steps 4-7 as necessary.

Networking - How To

The Approach:
Believe it or not, as a soon-to-be or recent graduate of CU Denver, you are in an ideal position to network.  If you approach this as a way to gather some information to help you make some decisions about the direction of your career, it will be very easy for people to honor your request. 
Also, when you are referred to someone new, introduce yourself by saying that you recently met with so-and-so, and that this person suggested you contact them.  Let them know that the reason you met with this person was to gain insight about your career field or industry of choice, and that you are in the process of gathering information to help you make some decisions concerning your career path.  Find out if they would be willing to meet with you for 15-20 minutes sometime in the next week or so.

questions to ask

Here are some questions you might want to consider asking during your informational interview.  Have a list of about a dozen questions to ask at-hand.  

Sample Industry / Profession Questions

  •   What excites you about the industry / profession?
  •   What is driving the positive trends in the industry / profession?
  •   What factors are responsible for the industry / profession’s growth?
  •   What new strategies are being used to continue the growth?
  •   What are the greatest challenges facing the industry / profession?
  •   What associations do you belong to or recommend I check out?
  •   What industry publications do you suggest I read?

Sample Career Questions:

  •   How did you get your job?
  •   What are your career aspirations?
  •   What kinds of people do well in this occupation?
  •   What do you really like about your job?
  •   What do you dislike?
  •   What is the biggest misconception about this job?
  •   Looking back on your career or job search, what do you wish you had done  
  •     differently?
  •   What would you recommend for a new professional like me to better prepare
  •     myself for this career?
  •   How does someone go about getting a job like yours someday?

Sample Career Questions:

  •   Who else would you suggest I talk to?


  •   Don’t take a résumé with you to a networking meeting.
      Do take business cards.
      What goes on your business cards?
                Short Positioning Statement (optional)

Social Media

Your Personal Brand

The phenomenal growth of social media has changed the job search process forever. Not only can employers search for you, you can search for them.  Simply put, you are in charge of your reputation and social media gives you that authority. 
Make sure to clean up your profiles, Google yourself to find out what information is out there about you, and develop your personal brand and communicate that brand with an online presence on the major social networks.
Follow companies on LinkedIn & Twitter and Like their fan page on Facebook.
Engage! Build relationships by attending networking events, conferences, trainings and promote your brand by volunteering to speak on your topic of interest. Update your status, tweet, comment on others posts. Be willing to lead and participate in conversations.
Connect with people who can help define your brand. Let people know why you want to connect.

What Not To Do

When being used professionally, social media sites are not: A place to post party photos, or pictures of you with your pets or your significant other, a job board where you see a lot of posted positions but little information about the details of the positions.


Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, making it a powerful tool to communicate your personal brand and to build your network.
With that said, if you are using Facebook as part of your job search – clean it up. Studies show that 92 % of employers use or plan to begin using social networks and social media for recruiting. 73% percent of recruiters have successfully hired a candidate who was identified or introduced through a social media network. And around 69% of employers have rejected a candidate based on something they found on the candidate's social media profile.
You can use Facebook as a personal social network, but if you do so, use strict privacy settings and understand which parts of your Facebook profile are public (Profile photo, Cover Photo, Life Events & Photos marking milestones).
How to Use Facebook:
What to share: Blogs posts, videos, photographs, questions, and answers
Best for: Interacting on a more personal level with contacts


LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world with 175 million profiles. Often referred to as the professional Facebook, LinkedIn is another large social network with the primary function of professional networking and job search. LinkedIn helps you build and protect your personal brand. It lets you demonstrate your experience, and expand your network. Up to 85% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find people like you.
How to Use LinkedIn
What to share: Relevant content with all followers or just other members of a group and answers to questions others ask.
Bet for: Showing off your professional accomplishments and linking to others.


Twitter is unique in social media because it allows you to follow people you know and strangers based on your interest.
Twitter is an excellent job search technology with about 300 to 500 jobs posted on Twitter per minute. If you are planning to use Twitter for a job search, set up a designated profile and account. Choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and expertise, or desired profession that sounds good, reflects your personal brand, and is easy to remember. For example, @JaneSmith or @MarketingExpertJane.
Getting Started on Twitter:
—  ·  Create a user friendly and professional profile. Have a professional photo consistent with your other profiles.
—  ·  Put your personal brand statement in your bio and have a link to your online resume, website, or blog.
—  ·  Follow experts in your field and establish yourself as an expert by tweeting relevant articles, information, and content. Connect with people at your target workplaces.
—  ·  Engage! Ask questions, offer help, re-Tweet, and be positive.
—  ·  Find jobs using hashtags: #jobs, #jobsearch. Or more specifically: #salesjobs, #greenjobs.
—  ·  Tweet with purpose! Tweet to brand yourself as an expert in your field. 
How to use Twitter
What to share: Links to content relevant to your audience, follow hashtags to find people who follow a related topic, and questions and conversations to interact one on one with followers.
Best for: Short, to-the-point updates, monitoring conversations about your brand and finding potential customers.
For help developing your personal brand or tips for managing your social media presence, come in to the Career Center!


© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.