Networking can be helpful in learning more about your career field and bringing job opportunities to your attention that you may not otherwise hear about. Your network may include friends, relatives, neighbors, alumni, former or current employers, faculty, etc.
Some people with whom you connect through your network may be willing to actively assist you by distributing your resume, referring you to employers, or "putting in a good word" for you. Do not ask for, or expect, special favors from people you do not know very well. Also, do not ask if they have jobs for you. Instead, ask for their advice. People are much more likely to offer advice than they are to offer a job.
In order for a network to be productive, you must maintain regular contact. Keep your network informed of what you are doing and any progress you have made. Let them know the results of any referrals they may have given you. And do not forget to say thank you for any assistance they give you. Be sure to utilize the handout library in your networking plan.
Informational interviewing is a great way to build relationships with new individuals and those whom are already in your network.
An informational interview is an opportunity for you to get to know an individual in your field of interest. You may learn more about a specific field or industry, a specific organization, job search strategies and possibly be connected to other key people within that field or organization.