Talk to alumni and professionals

Find where you fit in the workplace by talking to alumni and professionals about their career paths. There are lots of different tools enabling you to make contact with relevant people about your future career these days, but it still remains very useful to find contacts within or through your already existing network of friends, colleagues, and family. This may seem intimidating initially, but networking is one of the best ways to find employment that you will enjoy and find worthwhile.

Networking in-person

Talking to people who work in the industry you are interested in is a great way to explore what jobs and sectors are really like, and what you need to do to get to where you want to be in them. Use the resources below to find networking events that interest you:

Many people get nervous at the thought of networking, but the more you practice the easier it will become. Follow these tips to get the most out of your networking:

  1. Don’t limit your network. Networking doesn’t only have to be with professionals who work in your chosen industry. Speak with as many people as you can, you might be surprised about who knows whom.
  2. Listening is one of the most important skills for successful networking. Active listening validates others and shows genuine interest.
  3. Research as much as you can before a networking event. Find out the purpose of the event and the types of people who have been invited to make sure that you are prepared.
  4. Discreetly take notes after speaking with someone so that you can remember what you spoke about. Business cards can be a great place to note things down.
  5. Follow up with contacts afterwards to thank them, continue conversations, or, if appropriate, request to meet them for an additional chat.

Networking online

Online tools are a great way to supplement networking in-person, and are very useful in helping you identify people that you want to talk to. You can start by using the Careers Network, and LinkedIn.

The Careers Network

This is a database of case studies and contactable Bristol alumni available to our students and recent graduates. It's a great way to find out what Bristol students have gone on to do.

Access the Careers Network

If you are an alumni and would like to register, please fill in our Careers Network joining form. Please note: this is completed through the employer console; you will not be considered as an employer and will not receive any unrelated communications.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn acts as a kind of online CV, but it’s most useful to you as a great place to connect with professionals, support groups, and potential employers. Here are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to aid your career research:

  • View profiles of people working in your area of interest to see their CV and career path.
  • Find potential employers by using the search function and applying relevant filters.
  • Make connections to ask questions.
  • Join relevant groups to join in discussions and gain visibility over more profiles.
  • Follow organisations to keep updated about their news, improve your commercial awareness and find contacts.
  • Find advertised employment opportunities.

If you are new to LinkedIn, take a look at the getting started on LinkedIn advice by University of Bristol alumni and friends. Alternatively, check out LinkedIn's own student guide.

Students and graduates are welcome to join the University of Bristol alumni and friends group. By joining, you will be able to view and connect with Bristol alumni much more easily. It’s worth joining other groups relevant to your job search as well, as you will gain visibility over all group members’ profiles, and all of the profiles those people are connected with as well.

Network with alumni

Use the Careers Network and LinkedIn to find out what others from your course are doing now and how they can help you.