Skip to main content
Education
SFU Alumni

empty
Handshaking
Remember networking events are about connecting and building a rapport with others, and not just about finding employment.

In today’s competitive job market, no matter what field or industry you are in, the key to discovering the hidden job market is through networking.  It’s all about “who knows you” not who you know.  Networking involves mutually connecting and building a relationship with others at a personal and professional level (this can include your friends, family, coworkers, or acquaintances) as sources of information and support. It is easier to find employment if a relationship or rapport has already been established.  Employers are more likely to hire qualified people they know and like, than job applicants they only know on paper.

Here are Some Top Reasons How Networking can Benefit You:

  • Gain insight and inside knowledge about your industry

  • Develop business contacts
    Find new career opportunities

  • Create and expand referral networks

  • Establish informational resources

Networking can be Both Informal and Formal, and can be Done Through:

  • Volunteering

  • Information Interviewing

  • Job Shadowing

  • Attending professional events such as conferences, career fairs, networking events

  • Membership in a professional Association (eg. BC Human Resources Management Association, Canadian Psychological Association etc.)

  • Establishing a mentor-protégé relationship

  • Asking and connecting with people you already know (ie. Friends, relatives)

Many students attend professional networking events sponsored by a professional association or school club, but feel anxious about what to say or how to behave to make that good first impression.  It is important to relax and be yourself and go with an open mind. Remember networking events are about connecting and building a rapport with others, and not just about finding employment.

Here are a Few Tips on How to Make a Good Impression While Maintaining Professionalism:

  • Introduce yourself – tell the other person your name

  • Remember Names – pick a unique attribute about that person and link it to his or her name to help you remember them

  • Positive Attitude – Warm friendly greeting, genuine smile and a firm handshake

  • Be Prepared – Always bring your contact information preferably on business cards. Easy access to a pen is also helpful.

  • Ask Questions –a good way to break the ice and to start a conversation is to ask the other person questions such as where they work, what is their position etc.

  • Use Humor – Laughter lowers personal boundaries and can make people more open to each other. However, being “funny” is not natural for everyone, so use humor only when appropriate.

  • Maintain eye contact and focus only on the person speaking to you

  • Make a Graceful Entrance – Politely enter into a conversation by asking “may I join you.” You don’t want to be remembered as the “rude” person

  • Be Yourself – Be sincere in your approach to connecting with that other person.  It may be the beginning towards building a future a relationship.

SFU Alumni

You Might Like These... Career Exploration, Volunteering, Networking

Working on campus
The 10 Minute Commute – Resources and Useful Information for Working on Campus

Have you ever thought about working in a place that you are familiar with?  Perhaps a Tim Horton’s close by? For many students the idea of working at SFU might be a great option, if you prefer a 10 minute jaunt to work after class or an opportunity to learn more about how a university operates.

a flatlay of a person using an ipad to browse images
Can Blogging Help You Land a Job?

Some job seekers looking for possible ways to edge out competition are using weblogs (or blogs) to create and maintain a positive online presence. Blogging might help you land a job – but before you open a blog, we offer some information about blogging and a few tips on what you can do if blogging intimidates you.

the author holding a glass of wine
Student Profile: Cheryl Tan On Her AIESEC Experience

AIESEC (pronounced “eye-sek”is the largest student-run organization in the world. It offers students the ability to gain leadership skills by promoting its Global Internship Program.  It prides itself as an international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential.

You Might Like These... Career Exploration

Facebook laptop login
Social Networking: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Social networking has taken our wired world by storm. While Facebook is a great way to network with others and reconnect with old friends, the use of social networking sites and the availability of personal information creates a plethora of implications for personal privacy and safety.

Image of the interviewee, Nhi smiling and looking at the camera
An Interview with the Project Lead of TEDxSFU: Nhi Nguyen

Wondering what it is like to work to work for TEDxSFU? Curious why you should seek leadership roles in student clubs? Des'ree interviews Nhi Nguyen, the former Project Lead of TEDxSFU and asks about her experience, lessons learnt and the challenges she faced in this position.

Portrait of Dorcas Yeung
Why Working for SFU Was My Best Decision

My impression of co-op was that it was supposed to be a way in which to explore the challenging world outside of school; consequently, working at my school felt comfortable, and limited. At this point, after a rewarding four months, it is impossible for me to think of my experience as limited.