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Video:Tips for Formal Job Search Networking

with Milo De Prieto

Everyone knows that getting ahead in your career isn't based only on what you know, but who you know. In this how-to video from About.com, learn some techniques and strategies for networking in your industry.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Formal Job Search Networking

Hello, I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about some tips for formal job search networking.

Networking is Essential to Your Career

Of course, everyone knows that getting ahead is based not only on what you know but who you know. Many times the essential break or opportunity you need comes from a good contact. Here are some tips on how to formally network.

Websites, Forums, and Social Media

You are probably already aware of the many social media platforms, some catering to specific fields or sub interests. If you have sought out a degree in higher education you may have come across a helpful listserv or forum on your career path or subject where people in the field discuss relevant ideas. These platforms are very helpful and can add to the breadth of your resume and experience.

Of course, while these are social media, keep your interaction professional. Make a distinction between your personal and your professional profile as needed for your career path. Check for local events you can attend and seek out people who have gotten ahead. In a moment we'll talk about how to contact them.

Networking Events

Whether it is a general business networking event or something tailored specifically to your field, these ideas are a must. Of course, dress the part, your clothes and appearance are a conversation you are having with the world.

If you are shy, consider volunteering to help organize or serve at the event such as the registration table. It gets you in front of lots of people. Bring cards with your information to hand out to potential contacts.

Send Letters and E-mails 

After an event, make sure to follow up with interesting contacts you've made, even if you only spoke for a moment. You can use email or send a actual letter if you have an address. Also use these ideas for people you have come across on the internet as well as cold calling contacts from potential employers to local field leaders.

Remember these three points. First send an introductory letter, quick, complimentary, but not fawning, that gets to the point of asking for an informational interview. Keep in mind, that with today's ability to chat over long distances you don't have to do only local informational interviews. You want to meet this person or chat with them to pick their brain about the field and careers in it. Keep track of what you have sent to whom, you may even want to develop a personal database of contacts and the correspondence you've sent them.

Always send a thank you letter, even in the face of rejection. Check out our guide site for some great ideas on those.

Our guide site has some great sample letters and tons of resources to help you. For more helpful and excellent information on career and job hunting, check us out at About dot com.

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