Building a professional network is an important part of the career exploration and job search process.
Connecting with professionals in your career field(s) of interest is a great way to
- Learn more about what working in that field is like
- Get tips on how to stand out as a candidate
- Discover internship and job opportunities
- Develop relationships with potential future employers
For many students, building a network can feel daunting. It’s hard to imagine building a community of professional connections from scratch. The Luther College Career Center will help you get started.
LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking site on the internet. Establishing a strong profile is a great way to start leveraging your current skills and experiences. Searching LinkedIn for people working in your field of interest will help you identify leads for future outreach.
Schedule Networking Interviews
A networking interview can help you make connections and begin building relationships with key people in occupations, career fields, or particular organizations you are considering.
The Career Center supports students through the networking process. Our resources include examples of questions you could ask during a networking interview to learn more about a career field, an industry, the job market, and job search strategies. We recommend choosing 7-10 questions and adapting the questions to fit your specific situation.
Networking Interview Questions to Consider
- How did you begin your career?
- What types of experience are essential?
- What skills and talents are most important in this field?
- What type of employment or internships would you recommend?
- What courses, training, and experience has been most helpful to you in your present work?
- What do you feel is the best preparation for this kind of work?
- What are some common career paths in this field?
- What kind of entry-level opportunities exist in the field?
- Is graduate school important for someone in this field?
- How rapidly is your field growing?
- If you were going to change direction now, where would you go?
- If your work was suddenly eliminated, what different types of work do you think you could do?
- Can you recommend any professional associations?
- What current issues and trends should I be aware of?
- What is the organizational structure?
- How would you define the office culture?
- What is the average length of time employees stay with the organization?
- What type of formal or on-the-job training does the organization provide?
- What new product lines and or services are being developed?
- What is the best way to find out about jobs in this field?
- What job titles should I be looking for?
- What aspects of my background should I highlight or sell the most?
- What qualifications or experience do you look for when interviewing people for this job?
- What impresses you in a resume from someone who is applying for a job in this field?
- What advice would you give to someone who is considering this type of job?
- Is there a certain person within your organization that I should contact first? May I use your name when I contact them?
- Are there other organizations in this field you would suggest I explore?
Examples of LinkedIn Connection Requests to Luther Alumni
Hello , (first name)
My name is ________, and I’m a _________ (year) at Luther. I found you on LinkedIn through a Luther alumni search. I’m interested in __________(type of work/field), and I see that you work for ______. I would love to learn more about your career path and your current role. Would you have 20 minutes to talk with me in the next couple of weeks?
Hello , (first name)
My name is ________, and I’m a _________ (year) at Luther. I found you on LinkedIn through a Luther alumni search. I’m looking for an internship opportunity this ____(term), and I would love to gain experience in _____(their field/what they do at their company). Would you have 20 minutes to talk with me in the next couple of weeks?
Prepare for Your Networking Interview
Big Interview is an online mock interview tool that helps walk you through the process of preparing and practicing for your upcoming interviews. It includes vital interview tips, industry/role specific interview questions, and more! Create a profile utilizing your Luther.edu email address at Luther.BigInterview.com.