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Best Tips for Leveraging Your Network in your Job Search

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large__3256859352Your network of friends, coworkers, business acquaintances and family is one of your most important job search assets. How you leverage your network during your job search is equally as important and can often be the deciding factor in how quickly you land a new job. There are many ways you can leverage your network and there is a delicate balance between over-using your network and not using it enough.

Building Your Network: Your network is something that you should build and cultivate over time.  Knowing who is in your network, where they work and how they might enhance your career is very important. With tools like linkedin, that should not be difficult. Remember, networking is a “two way street” and giving advice/help is as important as getting help when it is needed. Keep track of your contacts. This includes (but is not limited to):

SEO ProfManaging Your Network: Years ago, it was all about your Rolodex (some of you will need to look that one up). Keeping track of your network has never been easier. There are a number of popular networking tools. My favorite (and one of the best known) is linkedin, although you should use whatever works best for you.

  • Size matters but . . . Only connect with people you actually know (we’ve all received requests from people we’ve never heard of)
  • Make sure you keep in contact with the most important people in your network
  • Give recommendations to those in your network who are deserving
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for recommendations – do it sooner rather than later
  • Continue to build on your brand, update your skills and experience

Know Your Network’s Network: Sometimes it’s not who you know, sometimes it’s who your network knows.

  • If you have an interview scheduled, check to see who in your network works (or a has worked) at this company
  • No one on the list? Check to see who knows someone that has worked at the company (linkedin has this ability)
  • Leverage your network to find out more about the companies they work for
  • Canvass your network for job opportunities at their companies

Look at several business networking sites and organizations. While you don’t want to spread yourself thin, don’t limit yourself to just one network.

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Good luck in your search,
Joey

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