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Networking is a very valuable tool to utilize during your job search. A person’s network is comprised of close personal and social contacts, as well as professionals who have become acquainted with you through events, meetings, and various other avenues. These important people can often become the direct link from you to your next career prospect. Read on for some pointers on how to put this into motion. 

In much the same way that you can build up your circle of friends through various activities and interactions, that is similar to the way that you can create a web of job opportunities. For example, your neighbor may have a cousin who works in the field that you want to be a part of. You can connect with your friend’s cousin either by phone or email and ask them if they’d be willing to meet with you for an informational interview. That is the type of interview where you get to ask someone in a specific profession questions without there being the promise of a job for you. They can be as casual as a coffee date between friends, or as formal as a traditional interview with a professional. As someone who went to around 20 informational interviews after graduating college, I can say that they are very fun and informative. Although I didn’t gain a job, I was able to see the inside workings of various local workspaces and determine if I wanted to pursue those careers. Once you have taken part in an informational interview, you must remember to follow up and thank the interviewer for their time and expertise. Staying in touch will not only keep you on their radar for future opportunities, but they could become the link in a future networking connection that will lead you to your future career.

The job search is never linear, and neither is the collecting and growth of one’s network. The best way to stay on top of your expanding circle of contacts is to organize all the names and companies you’ve connected with, stay in touch from time to time, and to set future goals to continue the trend. If you want to learn more about networking, check out this great resource I found. As always, be sure to check out our informative Digital Tip on this topic, too. Until next time, I hope you continue to stay safe and warm. See you in March!  

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