Networking and LinkedIn - OPCD - University of Dallas

Networking and LinkedIn



What is networking?

Networking is building relationships with people to exchange information and develop professionally. Your professional network can include your friends, classmates, professors, coworkers, supervisors, and even your family and family friends or neighbors. Don't forget that your career advisors at UD are also in your professional network!

Why network?

When you start looking for opportunities, your professional network can help you find opportunities by telling you where to look or keeping you in mind when they see new opportunities. Your network can even vouch for you when you apply. 

Use LinkedIn when you network.

  • LinkedIn is like social media but for professionals! You can connect with people, find jobs/internships and apply for them, find UD alumni, and more.

  • Fill out your profile as completely as you can. Ask your career advisor to help you or to provide you with recommendations for improvement.

  • Headline: State your goals, career interest, highlights, and/or accomplishments.

  • Photo: Use a professional headshot that shows your face clearly.

  • Search for jobs or connections by industry, job title, location, school, etc. 

  • Message people! Don’t be shy about reaching out.

  • Follow up if you haven't heard anything (roughly 2 weeks).

Job Fairs

  • Research - look into companies of interest and don’t discount those that aren’t in your field. 

  • Elevator pitch - customize your pitch for the job/internships offered in the industry. 

  • Ask questions - ask about things that can’t be found on the website. 

  • Smile! - Maintain eye contact and smile. This will communicate that you are engaged and interested. 

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

  • An elevator pitch should encapsulate who you are, what you have to offer and what your goals or interests are. It should be brief - imagine that you’re on a quick elevator ride and only have a few seconds to tell someone what you’re all about.

  • Example: “Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a junior English major. I’m interested in editing and publishing. I’m currently interning at the World Affairs Council where I do social media for all of their events. I saw that your company is looking for a marketing intern. Can you tell me a little bit about what kinds of projects your past interns have completed?”

Informational Interviews

An informational interview is an informal conversation you can have with someone who is working in a field of your interest. Talking with people allows you to learn about different career paths and increase your connections. A lot of jobs and internships are gained through these connections. 

How to Prepare

  • Research the professional and their company.
  • Research their industry.
  • Review your experiences, interests, and skills. 
  • Develop a list of questions. 

Arrive a few minutes early and dress in formal or business casual attire. If the meeting is virtual or over the phone, identify a quiet location beforehand and ensure that your roommates know to be quiet. If you need a quiet place, reach out to our office if you’d like to reserve a private room on campus.

Send a thank you note: 
Within two days, send a thank you email or note highlighting the value of the meeting and referencing something specific the professional suggested. This keeps the door open for future exchanges. 

Develop a plan to stay in touch:
It is important to stay in touch with these contacts. Follow up every few months, but this depends on whether or not you have something substantial to say. Substantial updates can include: an update on your professional life, an interesting article, or even a season’s greeting. Not everyone will reciprocate, so do not take it personally if someone does not reply. Also create a database to keep track of contact information; include: name, date of conversation or follow-up, outcome and any relevant notes. 

Questions you can ask


Always have questions prepared to ask recruiters. Here a few suggestions below: 

What projects are interns/employees currently working on? 
What’s a typical day like for an intern?
How did you land your current position?
What do you like best about your job or company?

UD Education 
How do you think your UD education helped you with your job?
What classes at UD do you feel helped you the most in your current career path? 
How have you leveraged your liberal arts background?What was your first internship or job like? 
How did you decide to go to graduate school (if applicable)? 
Were you involved at UD? If so, how? 

Additional Questions 
What was the hardest adjustment for you after college? 
Did you end up where you thought you would post-graduation? 
What do you enjoy about your job now? 
How did you choose to work at the company you do now? 
What do you think would help me as I apply for X (job/internship/REU/etc.)?

Additional Tips!

Beware of Social Media

No one should judge you based on what’s on your Twitter or Instagram; however, people will judge you based on your Twitter and Instagram. To ensure that you put your best foot forward, we’ve compiled a list of social media tips for you to utilize. 

  • Adjust your privacy settings and be aware of what is and is not public.
  • Know what comes up when you search your name on Google.
  • Proactively untag yourself from photos you do not want public. 
  • Never complain about your job, boss, coworkers, or school on public or full-name affiliated social media accounts. Be wary of sharing your personal views on social media, especially about hot button topics.

General Email Etiquette

Include the following: 

  • Saluatation (Greeting)
  • Purpose
  • Skill set/background summary
  • Attachment of resume (optional)
  • Call to action 

To: Gaby O’Neill

Subject Line: Summer 2024 Internship

Hello Ms. O’Neill, 

My name is Christina Nguyen and I met you at the University of Dallas job fair last Thursday. When we spoke, you mentioned that you would have summer internships posted soon and that I should email you my resume. I am still interested in the marketing internship that you mentioned and am sending you my resume for your consideration. You may give me a call at 972-721-5000. 

Thank you, 

Christina Nguyen

To: Angela Smith - Financial Analyst at ABC Company

Subject Line: Financial Analytics internship 

Hello Angela,

It was great speaking with you at the video interview workshop you hosted at the University of Dallas last week. I decided to apply for the Summer 2024 financial analytics internship you recommended based on my background in data analytics. I attached my resume for review as you requested. Thank you again for your time. 



To: Gaby O'Neill

Hello Gaby, 

I am a junior English major at UD and I see you graduated from UD with a degree in English. I was hoping that you’d be open to talking briefly over the phone or meeting for a cup of coffee to discuss your professional path after UD? I’m interested in learning more about social media marketing. Any insight you could give me about your career path in marketing for Whole Foods would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your time, 

Jonathan Roach

To: Jonathan Roach

Subject Line: Meet for Coffee? 

Hi Mr. Roach, 

My name is Christina Nguyen and I met you at the Champagne Breakfast at Groundhog Day a couple weeks ago. When we spoke, you suggested we meet for coffee so we can chat about your career path as an English grad and how you ended up at Fidelity. My schedule is flexible and I can meet Monday through Thursday in the evenings. Please let me know what days and times work best for you. 

Thank you, 

Christina Nguyen


Why Use LinkedIn?

Regardless of your major, LinkedIn is a necessity in today’s world. It helps you establish a professional presence and begin building your professional network. This is incredibly important for getting jobs, internships and even volunteer opportunities while in college and beyond. In basic terms, it is an online resume that allows recruiters and connections to find you based on your skills and experience. 

How to Create an Effective Profile


  • Your face should take up most of the photo
  • You should be dressed professionally
  • Do not use selfies or obvious photo filters
  • Experience should highlight specific outcomes or accomplishments
  • Education should highlight your major and relevant coursework
  • Attach links, files and media
  • Use targeted keywords that are relevant to the field you’re interest in
  • Write clearly and concisely in first person
  • Highlight your goals/interests as they relate to your target internship, job, or opportunity
  • Revise with the help of OPCD
  • Identify valuable skills by analyzing job listings
  • List skills that frequently appear in the jobs you apply for--only if you have them
  • Evaluate your resume for soft skills and list them along with the hard, measurable skills.


How to Use LinkedIn


Linkedin is meant for professional relationships and prioritizes decorum and a stricter code of internet behavior compared to most social platforms. Follow these rules when communicating with colleagues, recruiters and employers on LinkedIn. 
Always personalize your messages and clearly state your intent within the first couple of sentences. For more information you can look at our networking section and even find templates for your use. 
Find people you know, have a clear connection with, or have a compelling reason they should connect with you. You can send a message along with your request to connect. If you do not know the person with whom you are connecting, you should typically add a note explaining the connection. For example: “Hi Shannon, I am looking to connect with more English majors from UD!” 
It is best to ask for endorsements from people you know and have worked with. You can ask fellow classmates, professors, and previous colleagues and supervisors. 

How to Succeed on LinkedIn

  • Join professional groups
  • Join alumni groups
  • Engage with your connections
  • Explore companies and look for people you have connections with
  • Talk to recruiters
  • Apply for jobs
  • Follow companies of interest and influencers in your field of interest