Networking is the buzzword for job seekers. It is estimated that over 70% of the job placements are done through networking. When you are networking you must use all of the available resources at your disposal. Personal networking, job fairs, hiring events and most importantly social media networking are your friends.  

Networking must be done consistently throughout your job search. If you are a year away from transitioning, it is not too early to start building your network. Where do you start if you are a newcomer? Search social media sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo to find old connections and connect with them. Once you have renewed the relationship with them, review their contacts and ask for referrals and advice.

Consider professional associations, trade groups and online communities who have similar interests and look for events that they may be having in your area so you can network face-to-face. If you attended a college or trade school, alumni associations are another opportunity.

Always remember to networking works both ways. Stay in contact with your network. If they ask for help offer it and stay in contact.

Don Goodman of Careerealism offers four pointers that may make your networking far more productive.

1) Come off as approachable. Body language and attitude can be immensely effective.

2)  Get help from people you know. Do not forget those around you who are already your closest support group.

3) Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Job fairs, online events and social media are meant to be opportunities to introduce your self to others. Make it a point to introduce yourself to as many others in your network as possible.

4) Continue to build your network. Even if you get the job, continue building and staying in touch with your network, other opportunities may appear.

For more information see Don Goodman’s article at Careerealism 

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