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Weaving the web

by Vishnupreetham
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Have you ever watched a spider weave its web? Starting at one particular point this little insect manages to build a network as wide as possible, thereby ensuring that it has something to fall back on, literally. That's how networking works. All of us network. Be it at work, at pubs, at school reunions, standing at a billing queue in a grocery store. Yes, maybe not always but we somehow manage to make a set of connections or alliances, which may or may not come in handy in times of need. And believe it or not it most often than not comes in handy.

People network, as in communicate, stay connected to people on a regular or not so regular basis because eventually we end up talking to most of our contacts when there is something we need and vice versa. And this especially holds true in the case of finding a job because as its most often stated that 80% of the jobs are never advertised. They are either filled in through internal resources or employers just put the word around for people to apply for the position. And in some cases even if the jobs are widely advertised the person who bags it in the end is the one who knows somebody or somebody who knows another somebody. Well it's a long web but networking certainly does work most of the time.

So how would you go about networking when you're desperately looking for a job? Is it necessary to carry a copy of your CV wherever you go? Well, not necessarily but a business card will surely help. This does not mean that you should knock on the door and expect to be let in, nor assume that talking to everyone won't help. What you just have to keep in mind is that wherever you go, just be all ears to the latest trends in the job market. Also staying in touch with the people who might be useful in the long run will definitely help. The most common mistake most people do when they find a good job is that they stop being in touch with the people who might have helped. Be it the career consultant or a well connected ex-colleague it always pays to keep the connection and by not severing it you can always stay abreast of the latest in your line of work.

It's fear of rejection that usually makes most people to choose not to ask acquaintances for assistance. However you'll never know what you might be losing if you don't ask. And the best way to find out what you want is to just make a list of all the people who you think might know something and start calling them one by one, or better still if you can meet them in person it will help your job search a lot better than anything else. If you're still unsure what, where or how to start just take a look at the pointers given below which can undeniably give your job search the much needed nudge in the right direction.

Where to start

Your resume: No job search is complete without a resume, so make sure yours is in top-notch condition by updating it and making it more impressive. You can always visit websites that give you tips on resume writing or even get it written by experts in the field.

Always remember that at the end of the day employers get to see your resume first before they even call you for an interview. So make sure yours is job worthy.

Make a list & call: Now that you've revamped your resume its better you start jotting down the names of all the people who you think might be able to help you. Friends, relatives, colleagues, ex-colleagues, well just about anybody because even if they can't help you they can always put you on to people who can. After you've done that start calling everyone and let them know that you are looking out. This way you can narrow down your list even further.

Make a decision: Before you start sending out your resume randomly to all your contacts just make sure you're clear about the industry you want to find a job in. This way you can narrow down your list and focus more on getting in touch with the right people.

Pester: Be it your prospective employer or the person who can put you on to your prospective employer, just make sure that you do not turn into a pest by following up everyday. For anything two to three reminders should be sufficient and it works best when you're as subtle as possible and if you're told that they're busy just accept it, after all people can be genuinely busy and stop arriving at conclusions unless it's too obvious.

Meet up: After you've narrowed down your list see if you can meet up with your contacts in person. Be upfront and let them know that you are looking for opportunities in their industry and would need a little help. Don't bother to carry your resume but make sure you pass your business card around and make note of all the referrals that you might get from them.

Explore: Don't become complacent just because you are talking to a lot of people. If you're really hoping to find the right job then visit job fairs, register in career websites and get in touch with employers through them. You'll never know what you might find.

Be on the alert: You can never be sure when an opportunity can come knocking so always be sure you pay attention when you congregate with like-minded people or when you're out with a bunch of friends. Always remember that even at a pub you can meet people who might know people who matter to you.

Return the favour: When you're expecting something from someone always be prepared to return the favour. When you're willing to give a hand in return you endear yourself more to the person who is willing to assist you and this way you can get more information than usual. That's why it is always wise to do things for people because this way you're definitely in a better position to ask for help, if the need arises.

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