Your 4-Step Guide to Effective Networking Resources

Everyone knows networking is vital. Not all jobs get posted online, and often, your best bet for finding work involves tapping contacts for tips, advice, and referrals. It’s a process that sometimes makes people uncomfortable, but in a great Business 2 Community post titled “4 Ways Networking Can Help Your Job Search,” writer Lauren Riley outlines simple strategies for talking and typing your way toward that dream gig. Read on for a summary of her advice.

1. Work Existing Contacts — When you’re looking for work, everyone is a potential link to a new job. That means friends, family members, former coworkers, and even college buddies you haven’t seen in years. Riley recommends reaching out and scheduling meet-ups. When you get together, be sure to mention you’re in the market for a new job.

2. Make New Contacts — Using sites like Meetup.com, it’s possible to find networking events in your area. As Riley writes, conversing with others in your field is always a good idea. You’re liable to find out about job opportunities, and even if not, you’ll have a chance to pick the brains of others in the industry and gain advice to help you on your quest.

3. Go Digital — Another invaluable website is LinkedIn. Riley advises jobseekers to connect with individuals at companies they’d like to work for. When you reach out, she says, it’s OK to be honest about your intentions. Say you’re looking for help or advice — just be sure you don’t pester the person. Riley also recommends being active in LinkedIn community discussions and making sure your name is on people’s radars.

4. Never Stop Networking — Your job hunt doesn’t stop simply because you’re in line at Starbucks or working out at the gym. You never know when you’re going to meet someone with the power to help out, so always be ready to (a) chat, (b) mention that you’re seeking a new job, and (c) pass along a business card.