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If unemployed, most experts suggest you spend 30 to 40 hours per week looking for a job. What’s the number one way to find a job? Networking! Networking means creating relationships with others in your field or community, which should begin long before you actually need a job. 

How?

  • Join professional or industry associations and attend their meetings or trade shows. Member directories are a terrific source for contacts.
  • Join a job seekers support group, either locally or online. You’ll make contacts, get some job hunting tips and possibly some job leads.
  • Contact former bosses, colleagues or even classmates for job leads.
  • Let friends and family know that you are searching.
  • Volunteer in the community or at your church.

Networking Online

  • Search professional or industry association websites. Some require that you join before allowing access to employment listings or member directories.
  • Participate in online discussion groups for job seekers or groups devoted to your field. Often employers and recruiters follow discussions on these sites to locate potential applicants. 
  • To protect your privacy and avoid spam, get a free email address from Yahoo or Hotmail and spell out your email address when posting: Mary at yahoo.com

Riley Guide: Networking & Support Groups
Advice for and directory to networking sites.

WEDDLE's Association Directory
Directory to professional associations and societies. Many of these sites provide job-boards, resume banks, discussion forums or other job-seeker related services for employment networking.

Google Groups
Search for a group devoted to your career/job.

Yahoo Groups
Search for a group devoted to your career/job.