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Informational interviews are career conversations with people in your field of interest. The interview is designed to help you develop contacts and, in the process, learn more about the field. Informational interviews are also a way to build your network. See our guide on conducting an Informational Interview.

  

​The most widely used social media website for networking and job searching is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented social networking service. It is used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their resume. Even if you do not have work experience, create an account profile and begin building your network. Connect with classmates, professors, friends and co-workers. LinkedIn can help you maintain contact with people after you transfer, graduate and when you change jobs.

​Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
Social media can both help you and hurt you in your networking and job searching process. When beginning the job searching and networking process the first step is to examine your social media profiles and begin to remove any content you may not want a potential employer to see.

"Social recruiting is becoming a key part of HR departments – three in 10 employers (30 percent) have someone dedicated to the task. When researching candidates for a job, employers who use social networking sites are looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent), if the candidate has a professional online persona (50 percent), what other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent) and for a reason not to hire a candidate (24 percent)."

Employers are not only looking at social media, 69 percent of employers use search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo to research potential candidates, a 10 percent increase from last year.

"Learn from those before you – more than half of employers (54 percent) have found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate for an open role. (CareerBuilder.com 2017)

Start by "Googling" your name and see what employers will see if they do the same.

Social media sites can also help you in your networking and job search. "Like" and follow organizations that you are interested in. Post articles and thoughts related to your industry of interest. Forbes Magazine has a great guide on building your social media profile.

  

Joining an organization as an intern gives you the opportunity to work hands on in a professional environment. Internships help by teaching you more about the career path you are pursuing. Internships​ are a way to "test drive" possible jobs and explore different career options. By interacting with professionals you gain new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. Internships can help you acquire references, find new job opportunities and possibly connect you with a professional mentor.

  

Volunteering can offer the same opportunities as an internship. By volunteering your time with an organization in your desired career field, you are opening up opportunities to meet professionals, learn more about the industry and make networking connections. It's also another opportunity to spend time in a career area of interest if you are exploring different career fields. Volunteer Match and Idealist for potential volunteer opportunities. ​

  

Job shadowing is a useful way to learn about a particular job of interest. It involves spending a limited amount of time (usually ranging from a couple of hours to a week) with a professional in a job or career field you are interested in. By observing a day (or days) in the life of the professional, you learn what that job is really like. This can help you decide whether or not you think you would enjoy and feel passionate about the job. Job shadowing can also help you decide if your skills match the career field of interest, and how your skills from school and other jobs might translate to this job. It is also another way to build your network. ​

  

​​​Like volunteering, job shadowing, and internships, working part-time in your career field of interest can give you the opportunity to get a feel for the industry you are interested in and whether it is a good fit, as well. See our job search guide for tips on finding the right part-time job for you​. ​ ​

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