Top Tips To Network Your Way Into Your Next Job

Seventy percent of jobs are never advertised, so how will you hear about openings?

First, people need to know you are looking. Secondly, they need to know that you have skills they require. Informational interviews provide the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your skills and engage others in your search. This is the quickest method to increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time.

1. Identify the industry and position you want to know more about.

2. Get on the web and down to the library to find a directory that will identify organisations that need your skills, knowledge and contacts). List all companies you can find big and small. It's often easier to get into smaller organisations. They tend

3. Research each organisation by using the web, trade press, events and talking to people. Find out as much as you can about the company, the role and the people who may be in a position to hire. Prioritise your list of organisations that are the most i

4. Decide what you want to offer each organisation -- your research should reveal what they need. What are the key things you want them to know about you? What makes you stand out? Draft and revise your covering letter and CV. The format is

- The opening - something to grab their interest -- maybe something topical from the trade press, or an industry development. Or mention the person you know in common.

- Say you're asking for their advice and help.

- A summary about yourself. Nice and strong.

- Your bulleted accomplishments

- You might be interested in some of the things I've done

- The close - saying you will follow up this call in a week's time (or whatever is appropriate

5. Then send it. That's the hard part over! Or you may prefer to cold call. The process is similar. Just write what you want to say on a card, rehearse it, then be ready to respond when they ask why you're calling. The advantage is you quicken your sea

6. Follow up the letter with a phone call. Check they received your letter and make a 20 minute appointment. It may take a few tries.

7. Practice your pitch and prepare your questions. Ideally you should be asking the kind of questions that show you already know a lot. Sound like an insider!

8. Conduct the meeting. You have called it so you need to manage it. Set the agenda and make sure all your questions get answered. Also don't leave without asking who else you should be speaking to - and whether or not they are prepared to introduce you

9. Afterwards, write a thank you note summarising the key things you got from the meeting. Post it that evening.

10. Generate enough meetings to gather momentum. You know you have achieved critical mass when the same names pop up and you know everything that's going on.

11. Finally, assess how your strategy is working. On the whole if people are saying they like you and they'd hire you if they could, that's a sign you're offering the right goods. If not, your message or the way you are presenting your message needs to change.

Remember it's all about building relationships, giving and receiving information which is helpful to you both. By touching base with them
you greatly increase the number of people who are thinking about your career and who can help you with your search.

Happy Networking.