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July 2008
Networking REALLY is Key to Job Search

by Susan Reynolds

"Ask and ye shall receive." But if you don't ask, or don’t know how, your job search results will almost certainly plummet. Everyone talks about networking as a tool for business and career success, but few REALLY handle it effectively or comfortably. Here are a few tips.

It's all about them. In a conversation, your careful questioning and listening techniques are probably more important than you yakking along about yourself. Meet people more than half way in showing excellent interest in them, their company, how they got the position they’re in, how it’s going for them, etc. By listening carefully, you’ll be able to interject appropriate stories about your own background, as well as your hopes for career growth. You’ll be able to look “interesting” and useful.

Think through the various things you'd want an opportunity to share about yourself: your capabilities, your results, your background, your qualifications, your skills, your interests… You can plan what you’d say about each of these areas, and be ready to speak up at an opportune time in a conversation. You’ll be able to match up your capabilities to the situations they’re addressing. Provide a solution: you.

Telegraph your need, but with elegance, humor, and subtleness. If you charge around just asking if anyone knows of any open jobs, you’ll probably come up short. I recently solved a major problem just by humorously mentioning my plight to a new acquaintance. She provided an immediate solution that benefited not only me, but her partners. Networking works… but only if you do it, proactively and consistently.

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
The Correct Protocol of Job Search

Answering the Salary Question...

Don't Be So Obedient!

Keep Your Career Out of the Kiddie Pool!

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