Networking is simply the ability to connect with others.  Especially when you are searching for employment, networking will bring you faster results than sending out hundreds of resumes.  There are two main reasons to network: first, people generally do business with people they know and second, the dream job you are looking for may not yet be advertised.
In networking, you are offering a connection in exchange for a connection.  Consider it a way to get to know more people and to gain relationships that will be mutually beneficial.


Here are 5 tips to how to make networking work for you:
•    Expand your network:  You know more people than you think. Think of all the people you know not only in your industry but also your family, friends, neighbors, and let them know you are looking for a job. Make sure you are specific about what you are looking for.
•    Talk to your references: Your references are the people that will endorse your abilities and your character. Make sure they are aware that you have listed them so that they can prepare for calls from potential employers.
•    Focus on Building New Relationships: When you go to a social gathering, make an effort to meet new people and always carry business cards with you.
•    Make Sure You Write Down Pertinent Information: If it is your first time meeting someone, make sure to jot down some notes after your meeting to that you can reference these details in the future. It is all about the personal connection so make sure you remember what that connection was.
•    Take Time To Say Thank You: If you land an interview because someone in your network passed you the right contact name or put in a good word for you, make sure you tell them thank you.


Remember, effective networking takes time.  It is more than collecting business cards and asking other people to help you.  Solid relationships supply mutual support and benefit. By nurturing these relationships you will establish a strong network of people you can count on for ideas, advice, feedback and support and you may even land your dream job.

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