Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation

Career Services

Career ServicesCurrent

Networking: The misconception

09 January 2015
by: Jasper Roosdorp
by: Jasper Roosdorp

Most vacancies never make it to newspapers or the internet. They are filled in a very traditional way. Through the connections between people. By networking, you open up the possibility to find your dream job via your connections. I know now that my notion of networking was incorrect all along. And I’ve learned that there’s a huge number of students with the same misconception about networking. Does your image of networking match the description in the paragraph below? Then it’s time to change that.

What you may think networking is

Networking describes the forced and slightly awkward conversations at business conventions. Networking is desperately taking a shot when, for a moment, that one important person has no one to talk to. And networking is trying to come across as smart and ‘fun’, followed by an exchange of business cards, hoping for the chance of a lifetime.

What networking actually is

Without knowing it, you’ve already started networking. Networking can be defined as nothing else than communicating with others. By doing so, people will learn what your talents are, and what you’d like to do in the future. Networking is giving a clear explanation of who you are.

The right words

Make sure that you’re able to put your talents and career hopes for the future into words. You probably won’t be able to come up with a proper summary of these things during a conversation. It’s something that you will have to think about right now, and that you’ll use in conversations later on. Within your field of study, you’re most likely able to describe these things using jargon. Outside that field of study, that jargon is meaningless. You’ll have to use a different wording when talking to an acquaintance, which is the hardest part.


Start close to home

That conversation with an acquaintance is a greating starting point. Networking is drinking coffee and having a great conversation about the future. It’s about grabbing your chance when it’s there. You’ll be amazed by the number of valuable connections that your family, friends, and acquaintances have. They might just lead you to something great.

Bridging the gap

You’re contacts are of great value because they could be the bridge between you and someone that is able to offer you your dream job. Of course, you could just call an interesting company and introduce yourself, but making good use of your contacts will leave you with a far greater chance of success. Ask your acquaintance to make a request. You’re interested in having a chat with a specific person from that interesting company, beause you’d like to know more about what he or she does. That person is more willing to say ‘yes’ when the request is made by someone he or she knows.

Networking your way to the future

A network conversation should always be based on the hope to get to know each other, to converse about your shared interest, and to explain what your skills and talents are. It’s never a job interview. It’s a conversation that will make the right people think of you when they’re in need of a new employee. Perhaps we shouldn’t call this networking, because it’s high time to let go of the negative associations.

Last modified:17 February 2017 11.08 a.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 11 July 2019

    Major companies’ annual reports too vague about climate impact

    Many major Dutch companies publish extensive information about climate impact in their annual reports. However, very few companies provide concrete, detailed information about their own CO2 emissions, the impact of climate change on their business...

  • 08 July 2019

    UG permanently closes Yantai project

    The University of Groningen (UG) has permanently closed the project aimed at creating a branch campus in Yantai. Discussions were held with China Agricultural University, the city of Yantai and the Province of Shandong.

  • 03 July 2019

    Cheap train tickets boost public transport use but reduce customer satisfaction

    Offers of cheap single train tickets through retailers such as Kruidvat or Etos have a positive impact on the number of kilometres travelled by rail. This impact is much bigger than that of more general TV, newspaper or magazine advertising. However,...