Connecting Gold Coast students and graduates to opportunities

Getting Connected and Networking

“If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there”.

- Robert Kiyosaki

Finding employment or deciding on your future career takes time and patience and getting connected is a great way to find the hidden job market, identify potential employers and build your network.

Networking is a vital skill essential in today’s global community and is not just about exchanging information, but also serves as an opportunity to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits.

Here are some tools that can assist you in becoming connected.


This online platform provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Build relationships and develop a network with professionals, industry, and potential employers.
  • Research companies, individuals, key stakeholders, or industries of interest.
  • Search and apply for advertised jobs – it is also a recruitment tool.
  • Promote yourself and publish your work.
  • Establish and promote your online professional brand.
  • Follow and create industry or interest groups.
  • Promote and share industry relevant content.

Informational Interviewing

Informational interviewing enables you to explore possible careers and employment pathways by talking with people in relevant industries of interest. You can do this either in person, over the phone, digitally or via social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

Getting Started

  • Consider and research the area that you want to work in – What are you interested in or curious about? What are you good at? What are the future employment trends?
  • Research companies, organisations that employ people in these fields and consider their vision, mission statement and culture and how it compares to your own.
  • Find out the names and best contact method of persons of interest to you so you are prepared and professional when you make contact. LinkedIn is a great tool to do this.
  • Generally, professionals are welcoming of students seeking career information and are happy to be of assistance to you.
  • Introduce yourself, what you are studying, what you know about them and why you want to meet with them. This is where your level of preparation is evident.
  • Remember, informational interviewing is not job searching, do not break your relationship with your new contact by asking them for a job. If, during your interview you become aware of a position vacant wait until the following day before acting on this.

Below is a list of example Informational Interview questions to assist you when meeting an industry contact.

About your contact

  1. How did you get into this field?
  2. How has your job affected your life?
  3. If you could do it again what would you do differently?
  4. Are there any other persons you feel I could benefit from talking to?
  5. Can you recommend any professional bodies that I should be researching or joining?

About their job

  1. What is a typical week like for you?
  2. What skills and experience are required to fulfil your role?
  3. How do you prioritise your workload?
  4. What other employment opportunities can this role lead to?
  5. What do you enjoy about your job?
  6. What qualities and personality traits are important for this role?
  7. What do you see as the major frustrations of your job?
  8. Does your work relate to your academic studies?

Following your meeting

  • It is imperative that you thank your contact for their time and the valuable information they provided you with. This can be done via email, letter, card, or LinkedIn message.
  • You have now made a new networking contact.
  • Keep in contact via short (relevant) emails on your progress or sharing of useful information.

Networking events

Networking events are all about creating connections and bringing like-minded people together, and for most people, the thought of approaching random strangers can be daunting and intimidating.

Below are hints and tips to assist in extending your professional network when attending an event.

Suggested questions to ask yourself prior to the event

  • What is my number one networking goal for this event?
  • Do I know anyone else attending this event that I could connect with?
  • Which organisation am I most curious about and why?
  • What do I hope to take away from this event?
  • From the interview/discussion do I have anything in common with any of the attendees/employers?
  • What types of people do I want to connect with?

Once you’re in a conversation, listen well and ask meaningful questions, such as:

  • What do they enjoy about their area of work/study?
  • What company do you work for?
  • What tips do you have for someone interested in your field?
  • Can you recommend any professional bodies that I should be researching or joining?

How to leave a conversation

  • You don’t need to wait for the conversation to end, or for there to be a pause in the conversation. You can just excuse yourself to get another drink, to go to the bathroom, or to find your friend, etc. Be sure to thank them for their time.
  • Would you mind if we connected on LinkedIn?
  • Do you have a business card?

How to enter a group conversation or circle

  • Walk up to a group of people (4 or fewer is ideal) you would like to meet and say ‘Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt but I just want to quickly introduce myself’ then shake hands with everyone in the group and say hello then go back to the person you interrupted and say ‘thank you, please continue’.
  • It’s ok to interrupt as long as you are polite, as there is rarely a pause in a group conversation.

Tell me about yourself?

This is a common question not only used in interviews but also when networking. You can use this format to give the listener a good picture of where you’re coming from and what your goals are.

A Typical Response

  • Past - A few sentences about your past.
  • Present - A few sentences about what you are doing now.
  • Future - A few sentences about your hopes and dreams and how these may align with the position you are applying for.
  • Finish with a sentence about your interests.

Useful links

Gold Coast Student Hub for job seeking support:


Gold Coast Education and Training Network Inc ABN 35 036 042 606 trading as Study Gold Coast (Study Gold Coast) have provided this material on the Gold Coast Student Jobs Platform located at as a free resource for students or others (Users) to use.

Users of the material do not become clients of, or form any type of relationship with, Study Gold Coast until such time as Study Gold Coast is formally engaged for this purpose.

The information contained in this material is correct as at 15 October 2020 and is subject to change. The material provides a broad overview of Getting Connection and Networking, but does not provide a comprehensive or complete overview of all matters related to the topic.

The material provided does not constitute advice. It is the responsibility of Users to seek their own independent professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances (legal or otherwise).

Study Gold Coast does not make any representation or warranty about, and accepts no legal liability whatsoever arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency, or completeness of any information in the material provided. Study Gold Coast is not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or not taken, or reliance made by a User on any information contained in the material provided. It is recommended that Users independently verify any of the information in the materials upon which Users intend to rely.