Networking, both new media social networking and traditional face to face networking is one of the best ways to secure a new job. With so many people now unemployed or looking for a new job and so few vacancies out there if you are already known to the employer you will have a head start over candidates sending in resumes or application forms. That's just the jobs' that are advertised, many companies will look to save money on advertising or recruitment agency costs and will look to their networks first of all. We have all heard 'It is not what you know but who you know' enough times to know that it is true, so instead of complaining about it, make your network work for you. Networking should not just be about securing your next job, you never know when people you have met may be able to help in the future with promotions, business opportunities or advice and support.

How do you start building a network? First of all look at people you already know, school, college or university friends, members of sports teams or other social activities you have belonged to, family members and their friends, past work colleagues and managers, customers and suppliers you have worked with, people you may of met at networking events such as local business breakfast meetings, trade shows and exhibitions. Remember that these people are not just there to help your career, keep in regular contact, offer as much help to them as you can, socialise with them if possible. With so many people on social networking sites these days, for business and personal use, keeping in contact with people in your network, sometimes even on a daily basis, is very easy.

Once you have established a network of people you know there are many ways to grow it, if you are out of work then events such as job fairs and employer open days can be a good place to make new contacts, local business networking groups are common in most towns and cities often meeting for weekly or monthly breakfasts, trade associations, unions and other groups of people in your profession and social activities such as joining groups can introduce you to a wide range of people you may not otherwise meet. The internet has made networking huge, by joining groups or introducing yourself to friends of friends you can meet all kinds of people from all over the world.
When meeting new people to include in your network, in person or online, remember first impressions count, make an effort to get to know them, professionally and personally, let them know you have something to offer also, they will also be looking to build their own networks for similar reasons.

Although building a large and varied network is important, do not network with anyone and everyone, look for people who are interested in you and other people, avoid those who are constantly asking for help and only focused on their needs, look at who else they network with. Look out for these traits and make sure you are not showing any of these bad habits yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Navin is an experienced recruitment consultant and owner of engineering recruitment agency RJN Selection. For more info please visit