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networking tips for job searchCompanies are leaning on referrals more and more these days. A referral allows the company to find an excellent candidate without paying a pricey recruiter or hiring multiple HR people to sort through resumes. It’s a win-win for businesses, employees (who often get referral bonuses) and job seekers.

… Except when you’re a job seeker who doesn’t know how to network. With networking becoming more and more important in the competitive job market, those who cannot connect end up without a job (or at least one they like). 

So make sure you get that dream job by upping your networking game and avoiding these five mistakes:

Displace Face-to-Face

Repeat after me, “You cannot do every aspect of your job search online.” Individuals starting to look for employment often immediately turn to the Internet to find their next gig. We forget that people were finding jobs before the advent of the world wide web. You can, too! Get out there and meet people in person. It’s much easier to reject an email than the face in front of you.

Give Before You Get

It’s vital to give before you get – when talking about networking. You cannot expect someone you just began developing a relationship with to give you exactly what you want immediately. You need to let the relationship grow. The quickest way to develop a relationship is to provide the other person value.

Lame LinkedIn Profile

While face-to-face contact cannot be replaced, utilizing LinkedIn comes in a close second. If you have a lame LinkedIn presence, you’ll be missing out on a number of opportunities. Every HR director and recruiter is constantly on LinkedIn building their networks. You should be, too! This means updating your profile constantly and finding ways to add value to the platform.

P.S.: If you’re struggling to gain ground on the best business social media site, it may be your profile. Luckily, LinkedIn profile development services and LinkedIn profile writing services are our specialties. Click here to learn more.

Become a Professional

If you’re using social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to network, then you must keep your image as professional as possible online. That HR professional with a perfect gig for you doesn’t want to know how “turnt” you got last weekend with the “squad” in Vegas. Trust me. Instead, try sharing that industry-specific insight you found in Forbes with a little commentary. Keeping your social media clean is just as important as using professional resume writing services.

Go to Contacts

Many would-be-great networkers fail to do one thing properly: follow through. These people are great at making introductions, contacts and more, yet they find their networks stagnating because they fail to stay in touch, give and follow up. If there’s one thing you should take from this piece, it’s to always follow up with contacts that could benefit you down the road. Keep developing those relationships!

By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc.  She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award.   Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.