Networking is an important part of any job search. It is the process of establishing contacts for the purpose of gathering information, communicating your career goals, seeking advice, and obtaining leads on jobs. Unsurprisingly, the larger your network is, the more likely you are to be successful.

You will need to consider Your Current Resources. You probably network without even noticing it. Often, the best networking connections begin as friendships. It's usually easier to help a friend whom you care about and trust than an acquaintance with whom you have no personal connection. A good network connection is usually a connection that allows both parties involved to benefit. Rachel Solar-Tuttle, author of Table Talk, suggests that whenever you ask for something or meet with someone who could be a helpful contact, you should be thinking about how you can help that person in return.

However, conducting informational interviews helps to create network during career planning. An informational interview involves meeting with an individual in a field of interest for gaining current, regional and specialized information. They are a great way of making new contacts and finding out more about the position, organization and industry you are interested in. They can also help you explore possibilities if you are in the process of choosing a major, narrowing down career options or beginning a job search. The goal of an informational interview is to probe your contact for information, not necessarily to ask about job openings.

Moreover, using online networking sites draws closer your possibilities for getting a job. Online sites, like LinkedIn, are popular ways to reconnect with former colleagues and seek out new connections. Once you've set up your profile, you can import your contacts from your e-mail account or phone and send invites to those individuals to connect with you via the site. To start interacting with new people, join the many groups that are available on the site, particularly those that are in your industry or relate to your career goals. This can help you plan for a career by exposing you to new company and job possibilities.

In addition, Network in Person. While online sites are great places to network, you also want to spend some time engaging in face-to-face interactions with potential new connections. Establishing personal connections can improve your likelihood of getting a job and allow you to engage in deeper discussion about career plans, like future advancement in the field. Look for professional associations in your area that put together events designed to bring together people in your field. When you attend these events, be sure to bring your business card so that people have a way of contacting you later. This is also a good way to get business cards from your new connections in return.

Just enjoy yourself, meet new people, share ideas and thoughts, and maybe you will be able to help them or they will be able to help you in the future. Your career is in your own hands--but others are often willing to lend a hand. Find a job through social networking: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and more to advance your career.


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