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Use Career Networking to Help your Job Search

Your career network will include most people in your regular, professional network and some additional contacts. The key is to create your career network before you need it. If you wait until you start a job search, you’ll lose valuable time establishing an active career network. Who Should Be In Your Career Network? The short answer: Anyone and everyone who could help you with your job search. Peers, friends, fellow alumni. Your career network often offers more than just leads on job opportunities. Many of your personal networkers might have inside information that gives you an edge with the employer and their interviewers. Knowing information not available to other candidates may give that little something extra to stand out from your competition.

Online career networking sites can also put you in contact with other networkers and managers at employers in your area. Since you don’t know these networkers, be sure you tell them you’re looking for new employment opportunities and clearly explain the type of job you seek. Do not contact network members only after you’ve been downsized or decided to launch a job search. Stay in contact with your career network regularly. However sophisticated and high-tech your network or your efforts, always remember people enjoy dealing with people they know—personally. The “old school” technique of actually meeting others in person remains important. Attend as many local networking events as your schedule permits.

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