You often hear “It’s all in who you know!” and it’s true. A high percentage of all job seekers find their positions through referrals. Networking is not only a strategy in your job search; it’s a necessity. Your network will introduce you to people and possibilities that may lead to a professional opportunity. Your network is not only the people you know; it’s the people they know! Most people are not born to be networking experts. It takes mental preparedness and practice to start to build your professional network and image. Your attitude often guides your behavior, so you have to start believing that you have something to offer. Below are some tips and ideas to get you started in building your network.
A good strategy is to ask the contact about themselves and their experiences, including college experience. Most people enjoy talking about themselves and you can use that to get conversation started and to ask general questions. As a result most people will reciprocate your interest and ask about your background and skills.
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and relatives, but it also can be a useful tool in your job search. Employers are using social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to both promote their organizations and connect with potential job candidates.
Do not just contact those who can help you when you are job hunting; keep in touch with them regularly. This includes brief emails every few months to say hello and ask them how they are doing. People are more wiling to help when they feel like they know you.
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