A successful job search often begins with one-on-one contacts that result in strong job leads. The Department of Labor estimates that up to 75 percent of positions are filled without advertising. If you are solely relying on job postings as your primary job search strategy, you’re only going to see approximately 25 percent of what’s out there.
Meeting people gives you the opportunity to learn from them and to build your personal brand and network. Skillful networking is the best way to tap into the hidden market in which job openings are often filled through word of mouth or personal referrals. Networking is usually not a formalized process. It is often an informal discussion with people you already know or have just met. In fact, students network all the time and don’t even realize it. Networking takes place whenever you:
- Meet with faculty or staff – especially a career advisor
- Attend employer information sessions or career-related activities
- Meet guest speakers in class or through a student organization
- Talk with other students to learn of their experiences
- Talk with family, friends and other acquaintances about their work
- Post messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, chat rooms or other web blogs
- Volunteer for a community service activity
Review the Networking and LinkedIn guides to refresh your skills, update your profile, and reactivate your contacts. Employers and recruiters surf the Internet too, so confirm your social profiles are private and separate from your professional identities.
You will be well served to view these interactions generally as part of the overall interview and selection process, and act accordingly. Remember, you are making impressions as you broaden your network.
Through networking, you can:
- Get your message out and publicize your availability
- Gather marketplace information and industry trends
- Accumulate information on target organizations
- Get advice and ideas
- Locate sponsors, mentors and job leads
- Generate referrals that further build your network
- Develop lifelong contacts that may help you later
Networking should be one of your primary job search tools when pursuing a career change. A vibrant network of professional contacts is a valuable resource you should maintain even after a successful job search. Best of all, you’re already part of a worldwide network of 95,000-plus business professionals—Marshall alumni.
Marshall Alumni Events:
The Network includes not only job postings, but links to regional Marshall alumni groups, and an events calendar featuring weekly mixers, networking, and career-related events each week.
Marshall on LinkedIn:
Join one of several Marshall alumni groups on LinkedIn to reconnect to former classmates and make new connections.
USC Alumni Association:
Tap into the many resources available to you as an alumnus/alumni of the University of Southern California by visiting the USC Alumni Association. An events calendar, alumni directory, and various community groups will further your networking efforts.
Graduate Career Services Policies and Guidelines
The Graduate Career Services Center seeks to maintain and enhance the reputation of the Marshall School of Business School and University of Southern California with our corporate partners and the community at large and ask our students to abide by recruiting policies and guidelines for professional conduct and Anti-Discrimination Policy.