Here are the keys to successful networking for your
job-search. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this
important strategic tool of job-hunting.
Do realize why networking is so important. Only 5 to 25 percent of jobs are advertised, so you can find out about all the unadvertised openings only through talking to as many people as possible and telling them you are looking for a job.
Do think creatively about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
Don't go anywhere without copies of your CV and business cards. You can have your CV stored in your phone and if you have a car, keep copies there but be sure you can access it easily if you meet someone who could pass your CV along to HR.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most people are flattered to be asked for assistance and advice with your job search. It makes them feel important.
Do volunteer. Volunteer work was cited in a survey as the No. 2 way to make network contacts.
Do find a mentor. A mentor -- that one person who can guide you, help you, take you under his or her wing and nurture your career quest -- can be the most valuable kind of network contact.
Do come up with a system for organizing your network contacts, whether a spreadsheet on your computer, a file box of index cards, a three-ring binder, or whatever works for you.
Don't forget to thank everyone in your network who has been helpful to you, preferably with a nice thank-you note. It's just common courtesy to show your appreciation for peoples' time and assistance, and your contacts will remember your good manners.
Do keep networking even after you've found a job. You never know when you might need your network contacts again.
Thanks for reading.