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Your Job Search Networking Checklist

To get an excellent new job as quickly as possible, you need to network. If your efforts have been stressful or unsuccessful, maybe you’re missing one of the items below. Use this job search networking checklist to clear roadblocks and get ready for painless networking that really works.

Here’s what you’ll need:

◻ A solid understanding of what networking is, and the best practices for doing it.

◻ A target companies list: You could just network at random, but you’ll get better results if you know what companies you’re aiming at. Tip: five or ten companies aren’t enough and a hundred are too many. Read my post on how to build your target companies list using LinkedIn and the followup post on more easy ways to put together this crucial tool.

◻ Good answers to the three questions most job seekers flunk.

◻ An effective LinkedIn profile and plenty of contacts. Shoot for at least a couple hundred, or far more if you’re in a very network-oriented field like sales or recruiting.

Job interview readiness–because a networking conversation can lead to an interview very quickly, or even turn into one, right on the spot.

◻ A high quality resume, just in case, although there are several reasons why a bio is actually a better option for networking purposes.

Last but not least, you need:

◻ An attitude that works. If you approach a networking conversation feeling like it has to result in a job, it will be stressful for both parties. To be effective, your networking conversations need to be enjoyable. One job seeker I know had a successful job search networking campaign despite his introverted personality by approaching the conversations “in a spirit of curiosity, or as if I were a reporter.” How might a similar mindset work for you?

Although it may seem like going online and applying to jobs is the way to get a job, most employment experts agree that talking to people works faster. Why? By networking, you’re putting yourself in a position to be matched up with job openings before they’re advertised, while there is still little or no competition. Plus, you’re setting yourself up to be referred in as a known person, not just a resume in a database. It’s all about talking to people.

When you can check off all seven items on this networking checklist you’ll be ready for job search networking that’s effective, low-stress and sustainable for as long as it takes you get your next job–which may be much sooner than you think.

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