Talking to others, or "networking," is the single most effective way to:
- Gather career-related information and advice through information interviews
- Develop contacts within a community or industry
- Learn whether further education is needed for specific careers
- Uncover the "hidden job market"
- Make yourself and your interests known
Students may find excellent sources of names of contacts by utilizing:
- ILR's Alumni Directory (available in ILR OCS Library)
- Career Fairs
- ILR Roundtables
- ILR's Employer Business Card Directory
We also have several resources in the ILR Office of Career Services that will help you identify individuals to contact for career information.
What is Networking?
Networking is one of the most effective job-search techniques you can use. Many positions are not advertised, and networking is one way to learn about these opportunities or to learn of future opportunities. Furthermore, getting someone's attention is frequently the hardest part of a job search. Getting to know as many people as possible will provide you with substantive information to assist you in your job search, and many people are flattered when you ask for their opinions.
Networking is a skill you will use throughout your career. Learning the basics now will serve you well in your future. The prospect of asking for help or information may make you feel uncomfortable. This guide will help outline the "How To's" of networking.
Cornell's e-recruiting software, CCNet, is an online resource that allows you to identify professionals who are working in fields of interest to you and who are interested in sharing career advice with students. Alumni, employers, parents, and other volunteers serve as sources of information, usually answering your questions via e-mail.
To help you maximize your potential network of resources, it is critical to review our policies and guidelines.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that is often referred to as the "professional Facebook." Students (both undergraduate and graduate) are highly encouraged to have a LinkedIn profile. Under the Help Center, search for "webinars" (without the quotes) and then select LinkedIn Learning Webinars. You may then either register for a live session of LinkedIn 101: The Basics of LinkedIn or select "view a pre-recorded session" to learn how to create the best profile and how to use LinkedIn successfully.
Once you have established a profile, you will want to add contacts to your connections. Think quality, not quantity; you may be asked to introduce people, so be selective. At the same time, the more people in your network, the more connections to which you have access. Consider family; friends; parents of your friends; friends of your parents; high school teachers; past and present professors, supervisors, coaches; and others whom you know.
You may also connect with alumni through LinkedIn. Meet with a career advisor to learn how and to review our guidelines.
ILR's Alumni Directory
Within our office in 201 Ives Hall, students may access information on ILR alumni through directories, sorted by the name of the alumni, name of the organization, occupation, industry, or geographic location.
Our annual ILR career fairs provide an excellent opportunity to meet employers. The ILR Career Fair, held each October, focuses primarily on Human Resources, labor relations, HR consulting, and related opportunities. The Social Justice Career Fair, held each April in conjunction with ILR's Union Days activities, focuses on positions in the labor movement and social justice organizations.
Cornell Career Services also sponsors a General Interest Career Fair each September for employers who are seeking students from all colleges and majors. Additionally, the Nonprofit and Government Career Fair, Environmental Career Fair, and Summer Opportunities Career Fair are held during the spring semester. These and other Cornell-sponsored recruiting events provide a great forum through which to talk with potential employers.
ILR sponsors two Roundtables each fall: the CAHRS (Center for Advanced HR Studies)-sponsored Executive Roundtable held in September and the Labor Roundtable, usually held in November. The CAHRS Executive Roundtable brings high-level executives from top corporations to Ithaca to answer students' questions about HR issues in the corporate sector. The Labor Roundtable provides students with an opportunity to ask labor leaders about issues facing the labor movement. Both of these events are opportunities for students to learn more about these fields, network, and make important connections for future job searches.
Employer Business Cards
We maintain electronic versions of business cards of all employer representatives who visit campus to conduct on-campus interviews in ILR. You may also use this information to identify contacts at an organization that particularly interests you to learn more about possible employment opportunities.