Networking: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know


You wrote that senior thesis, graduated with honors and got a 3.8 GPA. What more could you need? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Landing a good job after college is not only about what you know but whom you know. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of jobs are found through networking. Networking means more than posting a good resume on, or applying to some jobs on Craigslist.

Forbes reported 41 percent of job seekers find their favorite job through networking in 2010. Many college graduates struggle to find a job and to keep or get a foothold in your industry since to do that, you must convince someone to keep you employed or hire you.

“It all comes down to communicating,” Kyle Klein, senior in industrial engineering said. “There are a lot of people willing to help, but you need to communicate with them and build a relationship to give them reason why they should help you.”

Being a good networker and establishing the right connections is a vital component to unlocking career opportunities.

Remember picking teams for dodge ball in school? Team captains made sure their friends were always chosen first, leaving the less popular kids to be picked by default at the end. Well, that still happens in the business world.

Kerri Keller, the executive director at Career and Employment Services said that she benefit almost daily from networking and relationship-building with K-State colleagues. Keller said she landed her job at CES, 13 years ago through networking.

“I found out about the job at CES from an email that my sister – another K-State alum – sent to me when I lived in North Carolina,” Keller said. “Before I came to interview, I networked with a former neighbor who gave me great insights about the university.”

Networking opportunities come in many forms, both online and in-person. The Career and Employment Services at K-State are giving students the opportunity to learn about career fairs, resume and interview tips. They also provide job listings and internships possibilities.

Amna Nawaz, senior in marketing, said she attended her first networking nights at the university, a few weeks ago.

“The thought of talking to employers was nerve wreaking,” Nawaz said. “But after the networking night, I felt calm and realized it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Overall, networking can make precisely the difference you’re looking for. They key is to start early in order to maximize networking opportunities.