Networking

What is it?

Networking is relationship building. Especially in the world of social media, Networking is the best way to obtain an internship or job during and after college.

Who is youR Network?

You will be surprised by how many people you already know. Take the time to sit down and make a list of family, friends, professors, classmates, previous employers, USC Upstate Alumni and professional associations that you may know or want to make a connection with.

Stay Connected with youR Network

Networking is building relationships, so it is important to cultivate it. This does not mean you have to speak every day or even once a week. Just make sure you keep in touch with your Network. This can be as simple as touching base, sending an article or something of interest to your contact, or sharing something new that has occurred in your professional life.

For more information on Networking, please call us to schedule an appointment or sign up for a workshop.

Connecting with Alumni

These are some resources to assist you in locating alumni and other professionals.

LinkedIn

Utilize LinkedIn to connect with USC Upstate Alumni as well as thousands of other experienced professionals.

  • To join LinkedIn:
    1. Go to www.linkedin.com
    2. Enter your name, email, and password; then click Join.
    3. Fill out initial information to create your profile.
    4. Confirm your email address by clicking the link sent to your email.
    5. Your account is now created. Make your profile complete by going to the Profile tab and clicking "Edit Profile".
  • To join the University of South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg) Alumni Network:
    1. Go to the search bar at the top of the page.
    2. Type "University of South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg) Alumni OFFICIAL in the search field.
    3. Click "Join Group" and wait for approval.

Student Alumni Council
The Student Alumni Council was established to provide opportunities for social and professional development while helping underclassmen transition from students to young adults. 

Spartan Career Link
Spartan Career Link is an excellent resource for locating career services contacts. After logging in using the form on this page, select the "Employers" tab and use the keyword search for more information about organizations. 

Networking Events
Career Services offers many networking opportunities throughout the academic year with both USC Upstate alumni and various recruiters. For a list of upcoming events, visit Student Events and Workshops and Spartan CareerLink (see above) for information on all Career Services events and Information sessions.

Informational Interviewing

What is an informational interview? It is asking someone about what they do – it is not about asking for a job or an internship! Think of it as relationship building, beginning networking.

The primary objectives of informational interviewing:

  • Investigate a specific career field
  • Uncover career options you never knew existed
  • Assist in narrowing (or expanding) options
  • Obtain advice on where your skills might be applied
  • Learn about important issues in a career field
  • Broaden your own network of contacts for future reference

How to start your informational interview
“Hello, my name is _________. I am very interested in learning more about ___________ and I would like to talk with you about what you do and the field in general.”

Sample Questions for an Informational Interview

  1. How did you enter this job/career?
  2. What do you do in a typical day?
  3. What are the most interesting aspects of your job?
  4. What do you like least about this career?  And what do you find dull or repetitious?
  5. How would you recommend someone break into this field?
  6. What educational background is required?
  7. What kind of experience or internship would help in this career?
  8. Is travel expected with this job?
  9. What types of training do companies give to people entering this field?
  10. What technologies are integrated into this career?
  11. What special advice would you give to a young person entering this field?
  12. What professional organizations are active and responsive in this career field? 
  13. What are some job titles of entry-level positions in the career field?  What is the career trajectory?
  14. What is a typical salary range in this field?                          
  15. What advice would you give on locating opportunities, the timeframe for applying, and the application process?
Social Media

Using Social Media for Your Job Search

  • Plan a social media strategy that is right for your career goals.
  • Build an online professional profile.
  • Create a robust LinkedIn profile.
  • Use platforms like Twitter to expand your network.
  • Join LinkedIn Groups (industry-related and USC Upstate Alumni group).
  • Pay it forward.
  • Use social media platforms to research organizations and people.

Protect Yourself

  • Adjust your privacy settings
  • Be aware of what is public
  • Search yourself on Google
  • While job searching or at a summer internship, think twice before updating your status about anything career-related
  • Proof before you post

These are just some of the ways to ramp up your social media presence. This space is expanding rapidly and it is critical that you are using this in your job search to increase your professional network and find the job you want. Remember to keep it professional.

Sample Letters and Emails

For an Upcoming Interview:

Dear Mr./Ms. Alum:

I am a junior English major at the University of South Carolina Upstate, and I have an upcoming internship interview with (insert their company name) for (insert position title). This opportunity is very interesting, and I would like to learn more about how I can stand out in the interview.

Would you be open to a 10-minute phone call so that I may ask you about the company culture and any experiences you have with the internship program?

My contact information is included below, and I look forward to the possibility of speaking with you in the near future.  Thank you for considering my request.

John Smith

Jsmith8@uscupstate.edu
864-123-4567

 

For Career Exploration:

Dear Mr./Ms. Alum:

I am a senior marketing major at USC Upstate who is interested in discovering more about public relations.  Consider adding one more line highlighting a connection or other area of common interest you may have.  I found your contact information through the Alumni Association directory.

Would you be open to a 15 minute phone call to discuss public relations as a possible career path?  I would like to ask you about your experience and for your advice on breaking into the field.  Give the contact a time frame and topics to be discussed.  The more specific you can be on discussion topics, the more productive the phone call will be.

My contact information is included below.  I am sure you have many demands on your time, so I thank you for considering my request.  I hope to speak with you soon!

Sincerely,

Jane Smith

JSmith9@uscupstate.edu

864-123-4567

 

Thank You Email:

Dear Mr./Ms. Alum:

I would like to thank you for meeting with me the morning of the 25th.  Your advice was very helpful and I have contacted Ms. Amy Smith as you suggested.  In addition to that contact, since our meeting I have actively pursued job openings with ABC Inc., XYZ Ltd., and 123 Co.

From time to time, I would like to drop you a quick note to keep you updated on my progress if that would be alright.  If there is anything I can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you again for your time and insights!

Sincerely,

John Johnson