Research shows that about 80% of jobs are eventually filled through networking, so it’s a great way to circulate your resume. Remember, though, that networking is about establishing relationships and sharing information—not asking for a job. Here are some guidelines:
- Before you offer your resume to a new contact, wait until you've established a relationship. Offering it right away may be viewed as asking for a job.
- Focus on getting information and referrals from your contacts. Then, use that information to do additional research and target your resume to an appropriate opportunity.
- Since there’s always a chance someone will ask for your resume, always have copies available when networking, and make sure your resume is on good-quality paper.
- If a contact does ask for your resume and offers to circulate it for you, follow up promptly with a thank-you note or email, and keep them posted on any resulting activity.
The same resume etiquette applies when you’re using social networking tools like LinkedIn. Take time to nurture your relationships before asking for favors.