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  • Writer's pictureAnant Mishra

Networking, the key - not just for business but even a job hunt!

“Networking is about who you know rather than what you know, and it is more effective than virtually all other job search strategies,” says Joel Garfinkle in his blog post, The Key to a Successful Job Search: Networking your Way into a Job. “It’s giving and receiving information, ideas, referrals, recommendations, leads and support with others,” he says. Lou Adler, CEO and founder of the The Adler Group, says, “Networking is how you turn 4-5 great contacts into 50-60 connections in 2-3 weeks.” In a LinkedIn article, he says networking should represent 60% of your job-hunting efforts – about 20-30 hours per week. “This is roughly 10-15 new contacts per week via the phone, which should convert into 5-6 one-on-one meetings every week.” Adler says you should spend the rest of your time on LinkedIn researching connections and job openings in their companies.

The National Public Radio show, All Things Considered, aired a special by Wendy Kaufman on 2/8/2015: “A Successful Job Search: It’s All About Networking.” Her guest was Matt Youngquist, the president of Career Horizons, who told job seekers that finding a new position presents the same challenges as taking a product to market. “It takes ‘X’ number of contacts to get this many appointments, to get this many chances of actually getting a sales opportunity or a job,” Youngquist says. “I do think volume is a big part of it."

Kaufman refers to former job-seeker Terri Garfinkel, who emailed past employers after she was laid off from her job at a high-end retail bakery, telling them she was looking for a new position. It took a while, but she landed a job with someone she had worked for just briefly a decade ago.

Now, that’s the value of networking in a nutshell!

Assistance comes from anywhere and everywhere,

All of the above meshes with the advice of Jim Fergle, Certified Workforce Development Professional who heads up the Job Search Services Unit at the workNet DuPage Career Center in Lisle. In his LinkedIn post, Networking and Aesop’s Fable of the Lion and the Mouse, Fergle reminds us of the moral to that particular story: even the small and weak may someday help those who are mightier than themselves. He advises job seekers to “get out of your cocoon and help others as well,” adding “You never know who knows who, nor who will help you out when you least expect it and need it.”

Fergle stresses certain points about networking:

Be ready to network anytime, anyplace and with anyone.Don’t be afraid to ask for help.Let people know you’re job searching; you don’t know who is listening.The person you’re networking with may even be the person who can hire you.Treat everyone you meet with respect, especially receptionists and administrative assistants.

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