Cairns Blaner Group

Career Management Services

Build a Productive Network

You have heard it said, "it is not what you know but who you know that matters."  In the case of job search it is both.  What you know is a combination of education, work, and life experience.  Who you know are the people in your network.

How do you build a network?  Most job seekers believe it takes a lot of time, energy, and work.  The perception is you attend a bunch of networking meetings to meet people.  The reality is most networking occurs one on one, which may seem even more daunting.  How do you meet people you need to know if I do not know them? 

The most straightforward way to start is with the people closest to you, your family (most of them are or were employed) and move outward to friends, students/colleagues, alumni, professional associations and recruiters/search firms.  These represent your six degrees of separation from you and the job you want.  Your message should be clear and concise.  You are seeking knowledge about the job market and your corresponding interests. 

What most job seekers do not realize is that potential employers are doing something similar.  Whenever they have a job vacancy they network with the people they know who are colleagues, friends in the business, alumni, professional associations, and recruiters/search firms.  What you as a job seeker want is for your network to intersect with the network of a potential employer.  That is when opportunity meets availability and hopefully leads to employability.  As a general rule of thumb you should have at least 100 people in your network.  Obviously, the quality of your network is more important then the number. 

The Internet can assist you in finding friends, alumni, colleagues, associations, recruiters, etc.  There are more free resources available on the Internet then one job seeker can possibly use.  Find what is right for you and use it to build an effective network.
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