Networking is the key to success for jobseekers. It helps you find new opportunities, connect with future employers or co-workers, learn from industry insiders, and land on your dream job. Here are some useful tips to help you network like a Pro!

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Start Networking Before You Need It

It takes time to develop a valuable win-win situation in professional networking. We all know that networking is a crucial part of your job search. The more time you put into it, the more genuine your relationships will be.

People can sense when you’re only socializing to help yourself. Networking should be a two-way street: you find new opportunities while providing value for others. Mass-networking and giving out resumes to everyone you see will only scare people away. If you plan to tap into your professional network, start early!

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Find Contacts Everywhere

You never know which one of your friends or acquaintances can lead you to your dream job. The mother of your daughter’s best friend could be a hiring manager who’s looking for new talents, and your neighbour’s cousin might know someone from the company you’re applying to. No relationship is unimportant when you’re searching for a new job.
Moreover, when you apply to a new company, it never hurts to scroll through your social media friends lists to see if anyone works there or knows someone from there. Social networks like LinkedIn are designed for this purpose – you can see which one of your contacts are linked to the company or position you wish to apply.

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Join Online Communities

Another interactive way to harvest contacts is to join online groups. Social media plays a significant role when it comes to online communities. Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, there’s always a  group (or 10) that suits your area of interest.

For instance, if you search “groups”, Facebook hosts everything from “Toronto Accountant Association”, “Hospitality Help Wanted”, to “Local Sales Jobs” and so much more. Don’t be shy to join these groups because you may find a position that’s perfect for you!

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Start with People You Know

Networking is not as intimidating as you thought it might be. Start with people you know, then expand to their acquaintances and finally strangers once the process becomes second nature.

It’s important to practice on your friend before moving on to people they suggest. Using a referral’s name when you contact someone you don’t know can be very helpful in breaking the ice. Contact everyone you can, whether it’s by email, social media sites or over the phone. You never know who’ll have the most useful information or take an interest in you.

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Connect The Dots for Others

If you told someone you’d get in touch with them, do it and reaffirm your intent to assist in any way you can. If you promised to introduce someone to a person you know, take the time to do it. Everyone is busy these days with jobs, families, events, commitments — even so, it takes no more than a minute to send an email to introduce two people you want to connect.  Little things like that mean a lot to people and just one introduction can end up changing someone’s life for the better.

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