Follow These 3 Networking Tips

Original Post Here

image by Joe Pemberton

“Networking for a job change or to get off unemployment is nearly essential, since people -- not computers -- hire other people,” says Matt Noah, CEO of Chanhassen, MN-based,, a firm that helps professionals build and enhance their network of contacts.

Here are 3 ways you can network better and find your next job faster …

1) Attend Industry Events

No matter what you do, there’s probably a regular event of some kind where potential employers in your industry gather. Identify events or venues that will most likely help your job search, then go there!

“Typically, the more focused the event, the better,” says Noah. “If you are a plumber, don’t go to an electrician’s trade show, for example. And size matters -- events are popular and well-attended if they provide value to the people in attendance.”

So, attend well-focused, popular events. You can find them advertised in trade journals, the business section of the Sunday paper, or search for them online at

2) Join a Job Club

These aren’t very high-tech or exciting. Just plain effective.

In a good job club, you’ll meet weekly or monthly with 10-30 other people to share leads, provide support and practice such skills as interviewing and negotiating for salary. Job clubs are usually free, so don’t fret about membership costs.

You’ll find job clubs all around you. Contact your local library, church, community groups and state employment agency for help in contacting one or more that suit your needs.

If your city publishes a free employment weekly newspaper, be sure to check the announcements section to find job clubs; you may also find them listed in your phone book.

3) Perfect Your Pitch

No matter how you network, you’ll eventually have to tell people what kind of job you’re after. So develop a 20-30-second “pitch,” describing who you are and what you do.

Focus on your unique combination of specific skills, knowledge and experience.

Example pitch: “I’m a tech support professional with five years of helpdesk experience. I’ve encountered and solved just about every problem imaginable. Before that, I completed officer’s training as an ROTC student while earning my MIS degree. This gives me a broader range of technical, leadership and problem-solving skills than most folks.”

According to marketing expert Larry Chase at, “I find people appreciate it when you can deliver your pitch in less time than they anticipated. It telegraphs that you are clearly focused and waste no time getting to the point.”

Action Step: People – not computers, Web site or fax machines -- ultimately hire people. You’ll have to work effectively with people AFTER you’re hired, so you might was well get skilled at meeting and networking with people BEFORE you’re hired.

Complimentsof David Perry and Kevin Donlin

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