Use networking appropriately to explore potential leads.
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:
- Establish a relationship with a new contact before you offer your resume. 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 for an appropriate opportunity.
- Since there’s always a chance someone will ask for your resume, keep high-quality copies with you when networking.
- If a contact does ask for your resume and offers to circulate it for you, follow up promptly with a thank-you note or e-mail, and keep them posted on any meetings or offers that result from their referrals.
The same resume etiquette applies when you’re using social networking tools like LinkedIn. Take time to nurture your relationships before asking for favors.