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How to use Networking in job searching

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Networking for jobs means using any current contacts to increase your chances of getting that perfect job. By networking you will be able to tap into the hidden job market. Networking gives you the opportunity to be successful in your job searching.

Start with your friends, relatives and work contacts. Make a list of people and let them know that you are looking for employment opportunities. Friends and relatives are easy to tackle work contacts are a little bit harder. There is a proper way to handle these type of contacts.

It is always best to approach them in writing, send a well constructed letter together with your résumé. In the letter introduce yourself (if you are not known personally) specify the reason why you are approaching them, use sentences like "we have used your products", "reputation for maintaining the highest quality standards" or even "your level of professionalism".

Let them know that you would like to be notified should any employment opportunities arise in the near future. Also ensure that ask them to maintain confidentiality, this is very important if you don't want your current employer to find out that you are job searching.

The other area where networking is valuable is through cold calling of companies. You send a similar letter and your CV to various companies that you would like to work for. If you receive a letter of decline, then contact them to thank them for their time and ask them if they know 2 or 3 people that you could contact. You would be amazed at how good this works, most people know 2-3 people, these 2-3 will give you another 2-3. Before you know it, you have contacted 50-60 people.

Make sure that your letter to the referred people includes an introduction line like "Mr. Jones, Managing Director of ABC Engineering referred me to you....."

Always write or call them to thank them for their time. You will leave a good impression, and you might be discussed at a work lunch or convention. Do the right thing here and it will pay off.

The same applies to employment agencies, they know each other very well within the industry and if they don't have anything to offer you, they might know someone who does.

Ensure your letters and all contacts show a high level of professionalism. They are a representation of you. You want to give them a good impression of yourself and hopefully you will reap the rewards in no time.

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