6 Tips for Networking Your Way into a Job

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Networking may be the single most important skill you learn while you’re searching for a new job. You should already have a well written resume, references, and a cover letter prepared. You may have even practiced your interviewing questions with a friend or in the mirror. But the best way to get your resume seen and an interview scheduled is to meet as many people in positions of hiring as possible. Networking is the best way to do this successfully. Let’s look at some networking etiquette and how to use it to your advantage.

In Person Networking

  1. Start by making a list of in-person networking opportunities in your area. These may be job fairs, industry events, trade shows, or social activities. Think about who you know in the community who could be connected to the types of jobs that you are seeking. Start by sending an email or a note in the mail letting them know that you’re looking for a job and interested in meeting with them on a casual basis to talk about your job search.
  2. Don’t focus on yourself for the entire conversation. Networking is a give and take. Think about other people in your own extended network who could be introduced to this person to expand their network in the right ways. Offer ways you can help this connection.
  3. Don’t be afraid to let everyone know that you’re looking for a job. However, there is a fine line between persistence and aggression. If you become pushy during your job search it will have exactly the opposite effect on your networking.

Online Networking

  1. The first step is to tap into the established network on LinkedIn. Build a complete profile paying special attention to your accomplishments and keywords. Next you want to connect to people you may know or people within your industry who may be able to help you. Join groups and learn the rules before participating. Only share your resume when it is appropriate. If a group is not established for sharing resumes you may over step your bounds and make a critical networking mistake at exactly the wrong moment.
  2. When you’re expanding your network look through LinkedIn’s suggestions for people you may know. The site will compile these individuals based on your extended network and your location. It can be quite useful to reach out to some of these new connections along the way.
  3. Don’t be afraid to establish your online brand. Branch out from LinkedIn and create other social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter. Set up a blog and write about what you know to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

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