The key to finding that ideal job can be in your network. This is because of other people they know and what these individuals may find for you regarding career opportunities. Leveraging this huge asset can be a critical component to finding your ideal job. Here is how you can use your network:

  • It’s the quality not the quantity of your network. You may have hundreds of contacts but you may not know them well. It’s important to know these contacts well. You want to be able to chat or meet in person with these connections. They can be valuable to your job search if you know them well. You want to learn more about them and they should know about you so it can be a reciprocal connection.
  • Let your network know that they are valuable. They don’t want to feel used or they won’t want to help you or know you. No one wants to feel like a stepping stone to something better.
  • Be crystal clear regarding your expectations. The people in your network can’t help you find a job if you don’t provide them with enough information to seek out what you want out of your ideal job. It can be helpful to provide a list of requirements and restrictions. It also should be stated what you are looking for, whether it is a lead for a job, a connection to a company or just some feedback on your vision of your ideal job.
  • Add to your connections if they are of value. If you have someone you would like to connect with but that you don’t know well, take the time to get to know them better. Grow this valuable relationship and take your time.
  • Keep your list of contacts organized. You can have a database of contacts using an Excel spreadsheet where you can outline who your contacts are and what conversations you have had. This is a great way to remind yourself to stay in touch and keep top of mind with them.
  • Show appreciation. If a contact gives you a referral or helps you out in your job search, make sure to follow up. Send them a thank you note or call them to extend your appreciation. It’s important to be appreciative of your network, especially when they provide a leg up for you.