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The 8 Keys to Networking

The 8 Keys to Networking

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© 2010, Dr. Thomas J. Denham, Careers In Transition LLC - - September 2011

Networking has been and continues to be the number one job search strategy.  A network is an interconnected group of supporters who serve as resources for your job search.  Some folks hesitate to network because they feel awkward asking for help.  Though you might feel nervous when approaching a potential contact, networking is a skill that develops with practice, so don't give up.  Most people love to talk about their jobs and are willing to give realistic, and free advice.

1. Be Prepared - First, define what information you need and your core goals for networking. Remember, your purpose is to get to know people who can provide information regarding careers and leads.  Other benefits include increased visibility within your field, propelling your professional development, finding suitable mentors, increasing your chances of promotion and perhaps finding your next job.  Second, know yourself, your education, experience and skills.  Practice a concise, one-minute presentation of yourself.  Your networking meeting should include the following elements: introduction, self-overview, Q&A, obtaining referrals and closing.

2. Be Targeted - Identify your network.  You may be saying, “I don't have much of a network.  I really don't know anyone.”   You can start by listing everyone you know who are potential prospects: family members, friends, faculty, neighbors, classmates, alumni, bosses, co-workers, Facebook friends and community associates.  Attend meetings of organizations in your field of interest and get involved.  You never know where you are going to meet someone who can give you a lead.


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