Job Search

Networking Strategies

Networking identifies the hidden job market by incorporating the assistance of contacts. Research indicates that more than 50 percent of jobs are gained through the contact network.

John Noble in The Job Search Handbook reports that "People are the most important link in the job search process. Want ads, job listings, career fairs, resume mailings -- all can provide some exposure to the job market. But you will find that most opportunities arise once you have begun talking to the people who earn their own living in your chosen field."

What Is Networking?

Networking involves connecting and interacting with other individuals. Its purpose is to exchange information and acquire advice and referrals that will assist you in promoting your ultimate job search goal of getting job interviews and offers. Through networking you build, expand, and activate your networks.

Essential Questions to Ask Your Network

  • Do you know of anyone who might have an opening for a person with my skills? If no, then,
  • Do you know of anyone else who might know of someone who would? If still no, then,
  • Do you know someone who knows lots of people? (The Very Quick Job Search by Michael Farr)

Points to Remember

  • Build your network
  • Expand your network
  • Activate your network
  • Remember to follow through on promises made
  • Continue to network after securing employment

Six Rules of Successful Networking

  1. Get started. Call your contacts and tell them you are looking for a job and ask for help.
  2. Present yourself well. Be friendly, well-organized, polite, and interested in what they have to say.
  3. Be open to learn from your contacts and get more leads.
  4. From each contact, ask for two contacts.
  5. Follow up on referrals. Call the people whose names you get in the referral process.
  6. Show your appreciation to the people who help you.

Who Is Your Network?

  • Family and relatives
  • Friends
  • Neighbors (past and present)
  • Social acquaintances (group and club members)
  • Professors, teachers, instructors, mentors
  • Classmates (high school and college)
  • Local alumni and alumni association
  • Career center
  • People you consulted or conducted business with during the past twelve months
  • Politicians (local, state, and national)
  • Chamber of commerce members
  • Pastors, ministers, religious organization members
  • Civic/philanthropic organization leaders and members
  • Trade association members
  • Professional organization executives and members
  • People you meet at conferences or conventions
  • Speakers at meetings you have attended
  • Business club members (Rotary, Kiwanis, Jaycees, etc.)
  • Direct sales representatives (insurance, real estate, etc.)


ECAC offers workshops covering a wide variety of job search subjects.

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