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Tips for Connecting with People to Find Job Leads

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Many jobs are filled through word of mouth or by referrals. By talking to the people you know, you can learn about potential opportunities, connect with people who work for companies where you would like to work, or even get introduced to a hiring manager. This approach is referred to as networking. People may know someone who works at a company you are targeting, or they may know someone in the types of positions you are interested in. Here are some tips to help you network:

  • Develop a list of people who might have information that can help you in your job search. Your list could include people you know well, someone who works in your industry, former colleagues or classmates, ward members, and even a person you don’t know well but who is well connected.
  • Be specific about what you’re looking for. Most people are willing to help, but they need the right information to help you. Share with them specific details, including job titles you are pursuing, your work experience and background, the types of companies that interest you, and the types of contacts or leads that will be most beneficial.
  • Develop a powerful, brief way of introducing yourself to networking contacts. This is often called a “Me in 30 seconds” statement. Practice sharing it with friends and family. A “Me in 30 seconds” statement often includes three to five brief sentences about your skills, abilities, and interests.
  • Ask people you talk to for information about job leads that match your interests, companies that hire people like you, industry trends to consider, or even advice. You can end your “Me in 30 seconds” statement with one of these questions, like, “Who do you know that has connections in this field?”
  • Keep notes with a list of each person you have reached out to, when you talked to them, what you discussed, and the information they gave you. Consider following up with them later to ask additional questions or give them an update about your job search.
  • Follow up with thank you emails or messages when someone gives you a lead, provides you with helpful information, or takes time to meet with you.
  • Reach out to everyone you’ve been recommended to contact, even if you think they may not have information that will be helpful to you. They will likely be expecting to hear from you, and you never know what information they may have.
  • Consider volunteering for community organizations or participating in events like job fairs. These efforts provide more opportunities to meet new people and gain additional information.

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