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How to Network Your Way to Success

How to Network Your Way to Success When you think of looking for a job, you probably think immediately about newspaper classified ads, or perhaps online job boards where employers can post vacancies and review online resumes. But did you know that a significant number of jobs are filled not through advertisements but rather through personal contacts—otherwise known as a network?

A network is basically a big web of contacts in your professional field or area of interests. The individuals in your network might be current or former colleagues, employers, or acquaintances with expertise in particular areas that you are looking to get into. They might be high school teachers who have friends in high places, or a family friend who works at a company that you'd like to land a job at. There is virtually no limit to who can be a potentially useful contact.

Keep your options open and make friends, not enemies, wherever you go. I have heard of people sitting next to useful contacts on the train, or on a bus—you never know when a cordial exchange with the stranger next to you may wind up in a trading of business cards.

Remember that any "in" at a company is a useful way of stepping ahead of the pack of competitors and getting an advantage over them. If a friend of yours is at a low level within a company, for example, at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy, he may not be able to secure a job for you. Still, he will be able to pass your resume on to someone at a higher level who may have more authority and the power to offer you a position.

In order to make a network work for you, you have got to be persistent. Success in the job market is all about timing, and it may not be the case that a contact will have a job for you the moment you inquire about one. But you should make a point to stay in contact—send an email or make a phone call every couple of weeks to check in. That way, you will be strongly in the contact's mind if a job does open up.

Of course, you should be judicious in terms of deciding which contacts to follow up with and which contacts are not likely to lead anywhere. If you've put in multiple phone calls or send several emails to someone who you thought might be able to help you, but they haven't responded, it may not be worth your while to continue pursuing them. In this case it may be a better use of your time to focus on contacts who are more responsive and who reply to your inquiries and correspondence.

The key to great networking is to build relationships over time. Don't give your contacts the impression that all you're out to do is secure a job. Rather, make them feel as though you're sincerely interested in building a friendship—which, of course, is what you should be doing. If the contacts feel a connection with you, that will make them all the more likely to help you in your job search.

About the Author:

Ken Anczerewicz is an author and publisher devoted to providing time & money saving resources designed to help students of all ages achieve their financial goals. Learn how to create your own income stream by clicking here now: www.resourceriver.com

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