Networking & LinkedIn

Experts estimate that 70-90% of job-seekers find employment through networking. Networking is the process of meeting and talking to people in your field, or a field that interests you, to learn about a company, industry, and/or career; build a professional network; and access opportunities that aren’t available on internship and job boards.

Networking and Why You Should Do It

Whether you are exploring careers, established in a field and building professional connections, or on the internship or job search, networking is the best way to access information and opportunities you can’t find online. Schedule an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss your networking strategy. 

How do I network?

1. Establish a Personal Brand

The first step in networking is to create a “personal brand” a professional identity that tells potential employers the unique skills and experience you have to offer. Your personal brand should be consistent across your application materials (resume, cover letter, etc.), LinkedIn, and social media.

  • Elevator pitch – What if you ran into someone who works at your dream company on an elevator and you only have 20-30 seconds to tell them who you are and why they should get to know you?

What is in a great elevator pitch? 

  • Introduce yourself with your first and last name.
  • Provide some background. Describe what you are studying, where you are working/have worked, relevant volunteering/involvement.
  • Sometimes you may need to add some extra information if you aren’t sure the person is familiar with your school or company to provide context.
  • Make the connection to the person you are talking to.
  • State what you are looking for and how can contribute to the company.
  • Wrap it up!
Examples of Great Elevator Pitches

“Hi, my name is Namrata P. I will be graduating in May with my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a major in Marketing from Suffolk University, (Suffolk is in Boston and is known for its Marketing Department). I’ve spent the last year building experience as a Marketing Intern at the AGC Athletic Gear Company, where I successfully managed event coordination and client relationships. I’m glad to meet you because I am excited about sports marketing. May I connect with you to learn more about your company? I can give you my business card. Thank you! I’ll email you tonight.”

Namrata P

“Hi, my name is Dmitri T. It’s great to meet you. I’m also a graduate of Suffolk’s Master of Arts in Interior Architecture Program. I’ve had experience working at large corporations like the Garden Restaurant Group designing commercial spaces, but would like to know more about how I can use the full range of my skills in a small firm where I have exposure to all aspects of the business. I know that you started in corporate before going to a small firm, and would like to talk to you about making that transition. Thank you! I’ll send you my availability tomorrow.”

Dmitri T

2. Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a professional networking site with more than 400 million members in 200 countries and 190 industries. 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn for hiring purposes! Use it to connect to and communicate with professionals, follow companies, and find internships and jobs. Start by creating a compelling profile.

How can I use LinkedIn to build my network?

  • Use LinkedIn for Students to get all the best tips on creating your profile, building your bank, networking, and finding a job or internship. LinkedIn Tips from The Muse is helpful for early/mid-career professionals, too.
  • Check out the LinkedIn student sample for inspiration.
  • Connect with people you know: classmates, colleagues, supervisors, faculty, and friends.
  • Contact alumni from Suffolk or your high school or other university on LinkedIn by using the “Alumni tool”. Use your alumni network to setup informational interviews. 
  • Join professional groups. On LinkedIn, if you join professional groups you may take part in online discussions and message other members.
  • Follow your target companies, and explore their pages for connections. If you have a 1st or 2nd degree connection with someone who is working for a target company, you can ask for an informational interview.

3. Start Connecting

Once you have honed your elevator pitch and created your LinkedIn profile, start connecting online and in-person. There are many opportunities at Suffolk for you to build your professional network.

Networking Sites

Use these sites to find networking events and opportunities in and around Boston. 

Meetup This site will let your search for local events in your area to meet people, try something new, or do more of what you love. Customize your search with your career industry or interests.
MassHire MassHire Career Centers are located throughout the Commonwealth and offer employment and training services, but also host a number of networking events for job seekers.
Eventbrite Eventbrite promotes local career fairs and networking events.
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce The Chamber hosts more than 100 program and networking events in Boston every year that reflect the most relevant issues facing the Greater Boston businesses community and allow job seekers to make important connections.
Boston Event Guide Boston Event Guide posts local networking events taking place in the city.  

Professional Associations