The best way to find a job is network your way into one. Today, the most effective job strategy is to network and utilize your contacts to find a position instead of being on the outside looking in sending out resumes. You should network to learn more about the positions and companies that you are interested in because they will give you an inside connection.
Determine what type of job you are looking for
The first thing you should do is figure out what type of jobs you are looking for. If you are currently unemployed or if you already have a job, you should take this opportunity to find a position that is really suited to your goals, interests, and skills even if it is a completely different position. Assess the industry that you are interested in and think about what types of positions would work for you at this point in your career. Also, consider taking some classes or going back to school to improve your skills and be prepared for more responsibilities.
Organize your list of contacts
Now is the time to organize your list of contacts if you have not already done so. Find all of your business cards and address books so you can compile a complete list of contacts in various industries. It would be a good idea to use a planner or business card organizer to help you categorize your contacts by industry. Once you have done that, single out the people that are in the best position to assist you and make a spreadsheet with their names, phone numbers, or emails. Make sure all of this contact information is up to date so you can reach them on a regular basis.
Talk to relevant contacts
Once you have their contact information in your hands, you need to go about meeting with them to gather information and hopefully network for a new position. You can start the conversation by asking for advice or you can schedule an informational interview about what they know about specific companies. Tell them what companies you are interested in working for and ask them if they still have any contacts at the company that could possibly help you set up an interview.
Continue to follow up with contacts
The work does not end after you meet with the contact because you must continue to follow up with them as you pursue your job search. Check in with them every so often and let them know how you are doing whether you got the job or not. Ask them about how to improve your skills and what direction the industry is going in so you will be prepared when the opportunity comes your way.
Networking will not guarantee that you will find a job overnight, but you will find one eventually if you get to know the right people. Go beyond your close friends and family members to look for a friend of a friend that may know the best way into the company.