Ask an Alum: Networking Tips

The following are important points to keep in mind when developing professional contacts.

  • In your initial e-mail or outreach to a contact, please note how you obtained the contact’s information. In addition, provide background information on yourself and share your career goals and experiences.
  • Ask for advice, not a job or internship position.
  • Respect their time.
  • Once your contact has responded to your initial outreach, please make every effort to respond in a reasonable time.
  • Conduct research on the company/industry/career and prepare questions to ask during the informational interview (see sample questions below).
  • Follow-up promptly with a thank you e-mail or letter.
  • Stay in touch and keep a contact informed of your progress.
  • You may wish to continue your contact through e-mail, telephone, or personal/group meetings.