Networking - A Key Factor in a Successful Job Search

In today's economy, job seekers need an edge beyond their experience, education and specific industry and job-related skills, in order to find and secure a position. Regardless if you are looking for an opportunity as CEO, Vice President, IT Manager or Customer Service Representative, you need effective tools to compete within a market that is job-poor and candidate rich.

Hundreds of articles and seminars have been offered describing the value of networking as being the most effective tool for finding your next position. Networking isn't new, we all network to some extent to find a new doctor, meet new people socially, to expand business contacts and many other aspects of our everyday life. The question is ? can networking really help you find a job?

As a young man just out of the Navy, my experience networking began without really understanding that I had begun to use networking as a tool. In those days, the information technology field was more commonly referred to as data processing, and that was exactly the field I intended to pursue. Based upon a recommendation from my father, I introduced myself to a neighbor who worked for Allstate Insurance Company. I described the type of position I was looking for and my goal of working in data processing. To make a long story short, Mr. Anderson brought home an application the next day. He helped me complete it and made sure that all the t's were crossed and I's were dotted. He personally handed my application to the department manager who was in charge of the hiring and ? he provided a letter of recommendation.

Several days later I received a call from Allstate to interview for an entry-level data processing position. I interviewed with the HR manager and department manager I would be working for. I was offered the job on the spot and accepted with little discussion about the details.

That night I called Mr. Anderson and thanked him for helping me. I asked him if I could do anything ? anything at all to show my appreciation. He told me something that to this day I have remembered and have valued throughout my career. He said ? "Use your business contacts wisely and treat them with respect. "Offer them advice, referrals, articles of interest and information that might be helpful to them personally or to their business." By doing so you will build and retain life-long viable business contacts." He also stressed how important it was to give something back and develop a relationship that complemented both yourself and your contact.

I didn't fully understand how important this lesson was at the time, but I later learned how valuable business contacts are and began building my own network.

Networking is building contacts that are well connected in the business world, who understand the power of personal referral and who are willing to help and provide additional contacts. Your contacts may be friends, neighbors, local business owners and people you meet everyday. The challenge is to reach people that understand networking and how it works. One of the most common comments you might hear from someone who does not understand networking is ? "I don't know anyone who has job openings."

Frequently you will need to educate your contacts about the types of people you want to reach and how these people can help you uncover potential opportunities. Networking is all about meeting people, who know people, and finding that person or persons who has an interest in your skills, background and what you can bring to a company. Many jobs are not publicized or even formally developed. Your background and skills can prompt companies to think harder about filling a hidden job or create a position that requires your expertise. Seeking out individuals who are well connected in the business world, open to talking about themselves, their companies, giving advice and directing you to other business people, are the primary targets for your network.

Even though every person you talk to may not be able to help you right away, they may be an excellent contact later on, or they may refer you to well connected business people. Because the hidden job market is where most of the jobs are today, networking will uncover people who have the inside track on either job openings or who know about potential opportunities. If you are networking effectively, you will find opportunities that you otherwise may never have found.

Networking will not only help in your job search, but it will add significant value and tools you will use in your everyday life. Do yourself a favor ? start learning about networking and how you can apply it to your job search, business initiative or unique requirements

About the Author:
Russ Kovar is also the Moderator for Chicagoland Ecademy Regional Club, an organization of us.ecademy and a member of Linkedin. Additionally, Russ provides Job Search and Network coaching.

Resume Success Factors--What Exactly Is A Resume Anyway?

You know you're good...real good. The problem, though, is that you are struggling to demonstrate... Read More

Job Lead Websites To Use in Your Telecommuting Search

Let me ask you a question: are you tired of using job sites only to... Read More

Job Hunting Tips: Taking Care of Yourself

Looking for work is generally a miserable undertaking. No matter how much education and experience... Read More

Is Pursuing a Career in Patent Law the Right Move for You?

What's It All About? The field of patent law is wide open to Biologists, Chemists,... Read More

Ask the Recruiter

We all have career goals, big or small. Here are some questions I have recieved... Read More

Oil, Lube and Filter Employee Pay

We have been studying the labor rates of Oil, Lube and Filter Quick Lube Facilities... Read More

Ten Things To Do When You Really, Really Hate Your Job

1. Begin focusing on what you want instead of how much you want to escape.... Read More

Career Success: Get Ahead of the Crowd

Regardless of where you open your briefcase or palm pilot each day - at a... Read More

How to Turn Career Mistakes into Career Wins

I recently talked with a client who was paralyzed at the thought of making another... Read More

What Do Accountants And Doctors Have In Common?

Freshly qualified accounting graduates when asked by the interviewer "Are there any questions you want... Read More

Dress For Success

You have heard the phrase, "Dress for Success." This is very important in your job... Read More

Stand Out From the Crowd with Simple Marketing Methods

Although today's job market can be very competitive, many job seekers overlook simple techniques that... Read More

Skills Make Labor More Valuable

As you know by now, if you have been a long time subscriber to our... Read More

Using Recruiters: How To Get A Step Ahead Of The Crowd

When there is an opening to fill, a company has four basic approaches at their... Read More

Consultants - If We Cant Laugh At Ourselves?

There are hundreds of varieties of Consultants these days. We can find Consultants to take... Read More

Reviving Your Resume

A resume may not be who you are, but to a potential employer, it may... Read More

Pair Your Powerful Resume with a Great Cover Letter

Every great resume deserves a great cover letter.A cover letter is crucial because it's the... Read More

Networking Masterclass - Part 2 Practicing Altruism

Practicing Altruism The 'Golden Rule' occurred in the Greek and Chinese cultures thousands of years... Read More

Fuzzy Headed Job Goals Lead to a Fuzzy Headed Life!

May I clarify in this article what I believe to be "fuzzy headed" life and... Read More

Job Interviews: Succeeding with Panel Interviews

These days, job interviews often consist of a panel of three-to-six interviewers.A "team approach" to... Read More

Considering a Career Change?

Are you thinking about a career change? Many people do this because of specific problems... Read More

Diplomats and Spies

"The Baratarian pirates also offered their services. Even though an American naval force had destroyed... Read More

Kick-In-The-Pants Job Search

Believe it: three obstacles will hold you back from your ideal job -- your r?sum?,... Read More

Defining Success Your Way!

In my career advising practice, I often find that my clients are not clear about... Read More

Resume Tune Up

Employers have fears, uncertainty and DOUBT (the FUD factor) over your ability to actually do... Read More

Learn Some Useful Feng Shui Career Tips

As it does with every main life aspect, feng shui also provides tips and guidelines... Read More

Cover Letter Sample -- For the Corporate Flight Attendant

Writing a cover letter to send with your r?sum? can be both confusing and frustrating.... Read More

Take Charge of Your Job Search: 12 Steps to Success

Despite what many people may say, a job search does not have to be an... Read More

The Hidden Job Market: Real or Imagined?

The hidden job market has been touted as the place to go if you want... Read More

Are You Eking Out a Living, and Cant Get What You Want from a Job?

Many people are working at jobs they don't want and they hate to go there... Read More

You Should Interview the Interviewer, Too

I know what you are thinking. You're thinking, "Wait a minute. Wouldn't that be somewhat... Read More

Become an LPN, the Fast Path to a Nursing Career

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) CareersLicensed Practical Nurses provide the most amount of direct patient care... Read More

3 Reasons To Hire From Outside Your Industry

While at times it may prove comfortable and convenient to hire from within your current... Read More

Network Now

Have you ever been to a networking event that was awkward, frustrating and nothing more... Read More

How to Get Paid More Without Being Pretty or Good Looking

Guess what. The results are out they are ugly. Pretty people do get paid more... Read More

Supplement Your Skills and Improve Your Work Position

It is often said that the majority of people are but a few checks away... Read More

Tips for Terrific Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviews don't just happen; they are the result of action you have taken. For... Read More

What Every Employee Should Know About How to Overcome Boredom

Do you find yourself easily becoming bored or tired at work for no apparent reason?... Read More

Shades of Grey

A paperweight sits on my desk, etched in silver the message: Life isn't... Read More

Preparing For An Interview

When preparing for an interview, you need to know your skills, experiences and achievements, and... Read More

Managing Emotions During Career Change and Job Search, Part Two

Half the battle in successfully managing your emotions during a job search or career change... Read More

Confidence Is Critical to YOUR Success....

Make EYE contact when you look at another person. Look at them!! Don't look down... Read More

How Well Do You Manage Your Boss?

Are you in this situation? You and your boss just don't seem to connect and... Read More

Competency Based Interviews - 6 Steps to Success!

Competency based interviews are intended to get the best from you, the candidate, whilst also... Read More

Petite Modeling: What Should You Wear to Your First modeling Photo Shoot?

If you're looking into making the petite modeling industry your career and are wondering what... Read More

Students Discover Your Niche By Using Career Assessment

In our ever changing world where job competition is rampant it can be difficult to... Read More

Writing Resumes That Attract Your Perfect Job

Let me introduce you to Ben. He made it happenBen was a comptroller. He liked... Read More

Pre-Interview Web Research

You have obtained an interview -- congratulations! You feel prepared to discuss your strengths, your... Read More

Surprise! Accounting is the Hot New Major

There was a time when accounting was the boring college major that many people regretted... Read More

How To Receive Payment as a Freelance Translator?

A problem most freelance translators are facing with is how to receive payment. In particular:... Read More