@cal Career Network - Networking Etiquette

Keep in mind the following tips when you begin to network:

Making Contact

Review the Career Networkers' profiles carefully to find the most appropriate matches for you. Note how they want to be contacted and be clear about the information that you are seeking. Introduce yourself as a Cal student or recent graduate who is interested in talking with them about their perspectives. Remember, the networkers have volunteered to offer career-related advice, NOT jobs.


Use it wisely by doing your homework about the networker's organization, preparing questions in advance, and being mindful of the clock once your meeting has begun. Let the networker guide the length of the conversation. Typically, an informational interview lasts about 20 minutes.


Generally, neat business casual is the advised attire if you are going to meet with an alum at his or her workplace. Suits, sports coat with a tie, skirts, pantsuits are all acceptable. However, some work environments are more formal, while others are more relaxed. To be sure of what is most appropriate, ask your contact ahead of time what the dress style is. You can refer to our Interview Attire page to see what each category of workplace dress typically entails.


Respect networkers' communications with you and reflect on the appropriateness of disclosing the information to others.


Express your appreciation for their time through a thank you note sent via email or postal mail.


If appropriate, periodically inform your contact about your progress, especially if their advice or direction was helpful.


If you have a resume, you may want to provide a copy as background information for the career networkers before you meet them.


Back to @cal Career Network Home