Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you know…it’s WHO you know”? That’s not entirely true, but there’s a healthy-enough grain of truth in that statement to make networking a very powerful strategy for your job search.

The most important thing you can do when you’re in the job hunt is to let your network know that you need a job. Because really, it’s not just who YOU know….it’s who THEY know. You just have no idea which friend of a friend might have a lead on the perfect job for you. But if no one in your network knows you’re looking, how are they supposed to tell you when they hear of something? They won’t, because they won’t know that you care about hearing it.

Who is your network? Who are the people you should be telling about your job search? Everyone: your previous bosses, the people you have worked with before or work with currently, your past clients or customers, the people your husband works with, the people your sister works with, your kid’s friends’ parents, your church, your friends, the friends of your friends, your acquaintances, your doctor, your butcher, your baker, and your candle-stick maker….EVERYONE. I have personal experience with someone who got a great job through another mom she knew at her son’s school PTO. And I read about someone who told her manicurist that she was looking for a job, and the manicurist had another client who was looking for someone to fill a job.

Because it’s not just who you know, it’s who THEY know. Do they know someone who might know about a job for you?

So how do you network? The most important thing to remember for successful networking is to be really, really positive. Try to be as upbeat as you can (without slipping into some kind of weird manic cheerleader mode).

Talk about what it is you’re looking for and what you’ve done in terms of solving problems for others. And don’t be afraid to ask “Do you have any advice for me?” People generally like to be able to help someone else out, especially if it’s just with information. (They might not want to hold the elevator for you, but they’ll be glad to tell you about a company that’s hiring.)

And if they happen to be able to tell someone else about you, that’s even better. If whoever refers you has a great reputation or if they can just communicate about you well, that recommendation carries you a long way. All they really have to say is something like, “Hey, this person is super-organized, there has got to be a place where this person fits.” That kind of thing can do a lot to get you an interview; then it’s all up to you to get the job.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee is a career coach and the CEO of Career Confidential, a website dedicated to helping job seekers find a job fast. See the website here => http://careerconfidential.com/blog/

Find links to 25 fast job search tips in the entire Fastest Way to Find a Job Series here => http://careerconfidential.com/fastest-way-find-a-job-series/