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Networking is better than applying for jobs online.

Social networks have changed the way we interact. But traditional face-to-face networking is still vitally important to shortening your job search. Did you know that 80% of jobs are found through personal networks, company insiders and referrals? That means 20% of jobs are filled through job postings. Analyzing that statistic quantitatively, it is apparent that interacting with other professionals is a better approach to finding a job. People don’t hire a resume. People don’t hire a recommendation. They hire a person, a person they’ve met and interacted with.

Build your network with LinkedIn and Facebook (if you must). These connections can get you introductions to others in your network who work at the companies you are targeting; people who might be willing to hand off your resume or recommend you for a job; someone who might want to mentor you or who can give you insight into an industry.

Once you’ve made a connection virtually, do your best to schedule informational interviews over coffee. I’ve had several clients get introduced to people via LinkedIn who played a key role in helping them get their next job. To build your network, go to Chamber of Commerce events and other networking events that require your physical presence, e.g. young professionals, events at business incubators, job search clubs, professional associations, etc. Meetup.com is a great place to identify networking groups in your area.

When networking, keep in mind that it’s not all about you. Listen to the people you connect with and if you don’t hear a way you can help them, ask them how you can help them. Givers gain.

The best is yet to come,

Michelle