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Networking is a key part of job hunting.

All it means is talking to others—either formally or informally—about your job search and career goals.

Networking facts:

  • It is not the same as asking for a job. Usually your networking contacts will not be potential employers.
  • It helps you learn inside information about jobs that are being created.
  • It lets you tap into the “hidden network”—the many jobs that are never advertised.
  • It's helpful for ongoing professional and personal development.
  • An employer who is not hiring today may be looking for someone like you tomorrow.

Before you begin networking, be clear about your job search goals.

Think about what you want to say to others about yourself, and what you want to know from them.

  • What kind(s) of job(s) are you looking for?
  • What skills and experience prepared you for these jobs?
  • Are you focused on a particular industry?
  • Do you want to find a job at a particular company?
  • Do you want to look for jobs in one local area?

 Next steps are to develop your elevator speech and make your contact list.