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Five Steps to a Successful Job Search Network

The best way to conduct a job search is to get others to help you; this form of help is called networking. To accomplish this, you will need to seek advice, ask for leads, join social or job clubs, attend trade shows, seminars, or workshops, become a member of Toastmasters, or just go to the businesses in your local area. Wherever you go, make it a point to network.

You will need to maximize your networking. First, instead of asking for someone’s help, make a specific request, and provide the detailed information that the person needs to grant your request.

Make it convenient and easy for friends to lend you a helping hand. Have the information at your fingertips whenever you request help. For example, you might ask a past co-worker if they know any managers among a few companies that are having a growth spurt. You can ask a sales executive to review recent sales job openings with you. Request your contact’s permission to us his or her name in a cover letter; this may help you to arrange an interview. Notice that all of these requests revolve around information you have on hand, and the request itself is easy for others to perform.

Make the request sound important. Inform your network how much their help means to you and what specific jobs or companies interest you. Don’t beat around the bush; you need to be direct. Be grateful for any help they give you.

Don’t let your contacts forget you. Never assume that if you have contacted someone in the past, they will not be helpful in the future. Follow-up by calling and keeping them posted on your progress. Don’t wait too long between calls, as you may lose the rapport you have developed with someone who wants to help you reach your career goals.

Use a positive approach. People are more enthusiastic about helping others who are upbeat and positive. Follow-up on every lead. This means that you need to contact everyone to whom you are introduced or referred, and you must be sure to let everyone know how your job search is going.

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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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