Read these 3 Make Your Contacts Count Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Job Search tips and hundreds of other topics.
We often talk about networking with people in various organizations to tap into the "hidden" job market. But what about networking within your own company? If you work for a larger organization and you'd like to increase your skillset, why not try networking with employees in a different department or group? The more people you meet, the more opportunities you may have for cross-collaboration. Get some free help or advice on a current work project, or offer your help to someone else.
December is a great time to reconnect with your contacts by sending them a holiday card. Whether sending an e-card or an actual piece of "snail mail" to your contacts, let them know a little about how you've been doing, any news that you have to report from the past year, and what you're currently seeking. For example: "2008 has been a tremendous year! I completed my bachelor's degree at the University of Alabama and have been doing some freelance work for an online political magazine, slate.com. I'm continuing to search for a full-time position involving political writing and hoping to find something in the southeast. Hope to reconnect with you in 2009! Best to you and yours this holiday season." If a contact has been especially helpful to you over the last year, add a personal note such as "Thank you again for speaking to me earlier this year and offering to look over my resume. You've been a great help and I appreciate your time and generosity." or "Thanks again for your help with the software project. Your assistance made all the difference!"
If you are currently job searching, chances are you are spending 80% of your time seeking position on the "Open Market" (websites such as simplyhired.com, idealist.com, monster.com, or the "careers" section of corporate websites). This is what I call a passive job search. You are applying for positions that everyone in the world can see, positions on the Open Market.
Remember, only 20-30% of ALL available positions are in this Open Market. What you really want to tap into is the great positions within the Hidden Market - positions that never make to a company website or a job search engine.
For every 10 hours you spend searching for a position, 7 to 8 of those hours (about 80% of your time) should be focused on networking. Networking takes much more effort than looking online for positions. It requires more energy and homework on your part. It does not immediately lead to a position. However in the long run, networking helps opportunities come to you.