Liberal Arts Career Services | College of Liberal Arts
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Connecting with others is a powerful tool at any stage in your career. Whether you’re looking for a job, applying to graduate schools, searching for internships, or seeking information about careers, talking to people who know something about your field of interest is especially important for confirming your interest in the field, learning insider tips and strategies and locating jobs and internships. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 70% of all jobs are found through networking (career conversations). 

  • Networking Tips
    • Be prepared to explain why you are contacting that person
    • Be able to succinctly describe your interests and goals (similar to the elevator speech)
    • Be open-minded and willing to meet new people
    • Be informed and up-to-date on current events (i.e., news, industry, etc.)
    • Be respectful of everyone you meet and thank them for their time
    • Be able to set clear, realistic and achievable goals
    • Do not be afraid to ask for the information you need
    • Be natural and authentic
    • Listen and focus on getting to know this person
    • Ask open-ended questions within the first 5-10 minutes
    • Say their name immediately after meeting with someone and continue sprinkling their name through the conversation
  • How to Network

    Networking Starts With Who You Know

    Everyone has a network; it’s just a matter of thinking broadly and creatively about who is in it. This includes friends, family, neighbors, teachers/faculty (past or present), employers/coworkers (past or present) members of professional societies, employers who come to campus, alumni, etc. In addition, the ever-evolving world of social media has opened up countless new ways to network virtually.


    Career services units at the University of Texas put on a large variety of networking and informational events that help you connect with alumni or prospective employers who want to connect with you. Check out the "events" tab in Handshake to learn more about these events and RSVP. 

    Local Networking Opportunities

    Check out the local resources below. Keep in mind, when you attend networking events, just one conversation can lead to multiple possibilities. Attend an event and be a fly on the wall or start talking with people! Not only will this help boost your confidence and connections, but also help hone your interviewing skills.

    Texas Exes - Events: UT Austin alumni chapters host entertainment and professional events around Texas, the country and the globe. Many events do not require Texas Exes membership.

    Built in Austin – Tech Networking and PD Events: Austin’s hub for startups and tech! Browse through networking events and professional development opportunities.

    Meetup – Career & Business Meetups: Meetup’s Career and Business section offers a variety of networking opportunities across different industries and interests – most events are free to attend!

    Eventbrite – Austin Networking Events: Similar to Meetup, Eventbrite offers networking opportunities in a variety of areas including: business, government, health, community, science and tech, education and film and media.

  • Informational Interview

    An information interview is a meeting that allows the interviewer to learn about a specific job type, career or company. Your interviewee can be anyone you want to learn more about or someone who can give you an insider's scoop. Informational interviews allow you to ask the questions you've always wondered about, from a professional who is working in an area that interests you.

    How do you begin?

    1. Complete a self-assessment:
 What are your career goals? What do you want to learn from the professional you plan to interview?

    2. Make a list of potential organizations/professionals to interview.

    3. Research the organization:
 Before you conduct your informational interview, research the interviewee's company and position to show your interest. One of the best ways to research an organization is to read their website: review the employer's history, mission, current strategy, and employee profiles.

    4. List your questions: 
After you have done your research, identify a few topics about which you would like more information. Below are a few general examples of questions often asked in informational interviews.

    • What is a typical day like for your position?
    • What would be the most challenging aspect of working in this type of organization?
    • What is the typical career path for someone in an entry-level position here?
    • What qualities do you look for in a candidate?
    • What skills have helped new professionals get started and have success with your organization?

    Setting Up The Interview

    There are numerous ways to contact the professional you wish to interview or someone who can make the interview happen. Whether you are reaching out by LinkedIn, email, phone or in person, a good message should include a brief introduction, your reason for contacting them and your reason for wanting to learn more from them.

 Hello. My name is _________ and I am a ____(your major)____student at The University of Texas at Austin considering a future career in ____(the field of interest)____. I am not currently in the job market; however, considering my interest and your professional background, I thought I would connect with you to ask if you might be able to spare some time to speak with me about your career path. I would greatly appreciate 15 to 30 minutes of your time to learn about your profession, your company and to hear your advice.

    This is just one example of what your email/phone conversation could sound like. Above all, make sure that it is personal and professional. Be prepared with available times you can meet in person or on the phone, and if necessary, to conduct the informational interview right then. Remember: you are asking them to take time out of their schedule to help you, so be as courteous and accommodating as possible.


    • Always make it apparent that you are there to gather information about the field/company, not to push your resume on them.
    • Have detailed facts and research on the organization. This will help demonstrate your professionalism and interest in the person, organization and industry.
    • Prepare specific questions. The more detailed a question you ask, the more likely you will get a detailed answer.
    • Dress appropriately for your interviewee’s profession and/or the location of your meeting.
    • Follow up with a personalized thank you letter (email acceptable). Show your gratitude for the time they took out of their schedule to help you. Be sure to proofread the document and use complete sentences.
  • LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is the most widely-used social media platform designed for professional networking. LinkedIn was built with career networking in mind – it gives you the opportunity to connect with alumni, colleagues, fellow students, potential employers and many more. Not to mention, you can post and share professional content with people in your network, forging relationships you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to build. In fact, 70% of people using LinkedIn were hired at a company where they had a connection. Not only can you connect with individuals, but recruiters seeking candidates can reach out to you as well. By creating a LinkedIn profile, you are inviting opportunities in a multitude of ways!

    • Add a professional photo to your account. Don’t have one? Visit us in FAC 2.106 to take a LinkedIn photo.
    • Create a Headline that describes your primary goal. Your Headline should change as your goals change. Example: University of Texas at Austin senior seeking government-related internship.
    • Craft a Summary and Profile that features your experience, skills and accomplishments.
    • Set your privacy controls to allow others to view your name, headline and other info.

    Once your profile is ready, try the following options to build and grow your professional network.

    • Under the My Network tab, use Add Contacts to search for profiles of your friends, family and other contacts.
    • Under the My Network tab, use People You May Know for suggestions.
    • Using the Search function, head to The University of Texas at Austin page and click on Career Insights to view and search for alumni who work in industries, companies or jobs of interest to you.
    • Using the Search function, explore all the LinkedIn groups that appeal to you (by topic, location, population, etc). A few groups and university pages you might want to join are Liberal Arts Career Services UT Liberal ArtsUT Austin and Texas Exes

    When you send a connection request, LinkedIn will ask how you know that person (including that you don’t know the person, which is common) and you can provide an optional note that the person will view along with your request. Many people leave the default language in the message window; however, we suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself. Checkout these template messages, or schedule an appoinment with us for help crafting a professional networking introduction.


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  • HookedIn

    HookedIn is the official networking platform for UT Austin students and alumni to connect, grow and give back. Join HookedIn today to connect with thousands of alumni who are willing to help with your career development. 

    On HookedIn, students can:

    • Connect with university resources and Longhorns worldwide.
    • Explore careers across a variety of industries and interests.
    • Find a mentor in a specific industry, company, location or area of interest.
    • Get hired with posted internship, experiential learning and job opportunities.
    • Advance their career by building relationships with Longhorns at the top of their field and accessing exclusive resources.

    Users can be both mentors and mentees! This is a great way to give and receive support along your career journey and can be used by anyone- whether this is your first year at UT or you graduated 30 years ago. 

    Mentorship isn’t just about finding a job or internship- you can find someone to help you understand the realities of a certain industry or type of job, share their experience at UT in your major or program, or help you prepare for other aspects of life post- graduation. 

    Getting started is easy. Build your profile quickly by connecting your LinkedIn account, or create an account by using your email address and responding to a brief series of questions about your interests.


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