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networking
The more things change, the more one thing stays the same: People find jobs through other people. That’s according to Career Artisan founder Scott Uhrig, who recently sat down with Business News Daily to share “4 Easy Ways to Network Even If You’re Bad at It.” “The way that people have found the most and the best jobs for the past 100 years has been through networking,” Uhrig said, adding that while online tools are important, they haven’t replaced good old-fashioned human interaction. Read on to see how Uhrig suggests reaching out to your dream companies and pursuing new opportunities in 2015.

1. Get Specific About What You Want — It may seem counterintuitive, but companies aren’t looking for jack-of-all-trade types. Specialization is key, and before you begin networking, Uhrig writes, you need to figure out what you’re good at and what kind of position you’re after. Take a close look at your skill set, do a little soul searching, and then move on to step No. 2.

2. Draft a List of Companies — Once you’ve pinpointed the position you’re after, make a list of companies you’d like to work for. While Uhrig recommends giving priority to firms with job openings, you need not discount ones that aren’t currently hiring. Next, make note of the appropriate contacts in charge of hiring or HR at your dream companies.

3. Let the Networking Begin — Using programs like LinkedIn, network your way toward the hiring managers you found in the previous step. These days, most people are just a few connections away, so identify links and get people to help introduce you.

4. Get In Touch — Without seeming pushy, reach out to the hiring managers and let them know you’re interested in the position. You want to be direct and respectful—that’ll show the company you’re serious about the position in question, and that you’re the type of person who has something to offer. While email is probably most people’s first instinct, it’s not the only possible approach. “Pick up the phone; call and introduce yourself,” Uhrig says. “It works if you invest the time and effort to do it.”