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Networking: The Real Secret to Job Leads and Access to the “Hidden Job Market”

#1 marketing strategy for finding your next job

Networking can help you access the “hidden job market” and unadvertised opportunities. You’ll find fewer people apply for jobs that aren’t advertised widely.

Don’t be afraid to ask employees at your target company for advice. Often they’re not the person who will actually be interviewing you or making the final decision.
Effective job searches are not conducted over job boards on the Internet; they are conducted by using your network – through people who know people.
Ask people you know in other companies if there might be positions open. Renew old connections by taking them out to lunch.
One of the best sources of job leads to tap is your personal network. These people already know you, like you, and know what you’re capable of.
The best way to work your network for potential job leads is to do it in a systematic way, to ensure you don’t miss anyone who could eventually lead you to your future job.
Build your network. Write down the name of every single person you can remember in each and every one of your past jobs. Then work on finding/connecting with them.
Don’t underestimate the ability of lower-level employees to help you out. A secretary takes phone calls from high-level executives all day.
When making connections with your network in a job search, contact the people who are most likely to want to help you first.
Don’t underestimate your network. You’re more connected than you realize — maybe only 1-2 connections away from someone who’s willing and able to hire you.
The “tried and true” path of networking is still your #1 marketing strategy for finding your next job.
You never know who may have a great lead or know of an unadvertised opportunity.
The people you know can be the best way for you to find your next job. Actively develop your network.
Ask your network of contacts for help in one of the following ways: Leads, Information, Advice, and/or Referrals.
Ask people in your network if they know anyone who works for “Company X.” Then contact that person and ask about the company, culture, and hiring practices.
The more people who know you’re looking for a job, the more eyes and ears that will be available to help.
Expand your network by attending networking events (for example, those hosted by your professional organization, Chamber of Commerce, or tips groups).
Contact your alumni groups. Your college or university should have an alumni association (often with a directory of members) that can be useful.
Attend association and professional organization meetings. This is a great opportunity for networking within your industry.
Get to know local business leaders, politicians, bankers, commercial real estate professionals, and others who can network you into top opportunities.
Author Harvey Mackey says, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” Don’t wait until you’re out of work to develop relationships with your network.
The single biggest mistake most job searchers make is not asking for help from their network. People want to help you — so let them!
It happens all the time. Someone in your network says, “You know what? You should talk to John Jones at the XYZ Company. They could use someone with your skills.”
One of the best sources of job leads is from the people you know. Take a look at your Christmas card list to get started.
When building your network, you’re not just looking for people who are in a position to hire you — you’re looking to make contact with people who know people who might be in a position to hire you.
People who share the same faith, beliefs, or hobbies may also help you with finding a job. You may have a different career from theirs, but they might know somebody who is in the same field who will be able to help you in your career.
Ask members of your professional association for job leads.
Always talk to the people you want to list as employment references and get their permission to list them as references.
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