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What are networking skills?

Networking skills involve the ability to make contacts and build relationships in person or via web based tools, such as LinkedIn.

In order to network successfully, you will need to be proactive and get involved with different activities, so that you can meet lots of people! Building your network will help your personal and professional development.

Application form and interview questions

Some examples of application form and interview questions which are designed to test networking skills:

  • How would you define networking?
  • Name three benefits of web based networking.
  • Your manager asks you to find two new customers, what is your strategy?
  • Tell me about a time when you have made effective use of a new contact, what was the end result?

If you are unsure how to structure an answer for either application or interview questions, visit the application and interviews section of our website and find out about the CAR (context, action, result) and STAR (situation, task, action, result) models. Our recommendations are based on feedback from employers.

Assessment centres

Your behaviour will be observed and assessed even during lunch and refreshment breaks. This is the perfect time to network with the employer (current trainee, senior manager and graduate recruitment manager) and other candidates to full effect, in order to demonstrate that you can build relationships quickly and find out additional information which could be useful in the future.

Activities where you could develop networking skills

The following activities, both locally and on campus, may be a good ways to develop your networking skills:

  • Fairs, workshops and skills sessions Talk directly with recruiters to find out about opportunities and learn more about a particular career or organisation. Check CareerConnect for forthcoming events.
  • Alumni Networks Via LinkedIn or at Alumni events, find out what Manchester Graduates are doing now they may be able to give you valuable tips and advice.
  • Media Club Don't miss out on these opportunities to network if you are interested in a media related career.
  • 3rd Sector Club For those interested in the Charity and not for profit sector.
  • Peer Mentoring Practise your networking skills by supporting others through their studies and wider university life.
  • Professional bodies Find out which professional body represents your target career area and see if you can join as a student member, this is normally quite inexpensive. They usually offer great opportunities to attend events and network with career professionals of all levels.