­­ “It’s not only who you know, but who knows you.” Bianca Frazier

About 70% of all jobs come through connections, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is your relationships and connections that will pave the way into job interviews and oddly enough it is the second level connections that are the most valuable. People who are connected to people you know have a wider reach into possible job opportunities than your immediate connections. So, how do you do this?   There are 6 groups of people to think about when you are networking for your next job. As you interact with them, let them know the kind of job and connections you are looking for and be thinking about what you can offer them in the process. You may have a connection or article or other resource that would be valuable for them.

#1. The first group to reach out to are your friends and family– those people who know you best and are strongly motivated to help you. Let them know how they can support you via introductions or resources.

#2. The second group are the folks you socialize with on a frequent basis. This might include people you talk to at the gym, PTA meetings, parent groups, soccer games, your biking club, a class you are taking, a place where you volunteer, your church, or your neighborhood association. Again, let them know the type of job/company/introductions you are seeking.

#3. Don’t forget the importance of social media. Let your facebook, twitter and linkedin connections know what you are looking for. Follow companies on linkedin that you would like to work for. Reach out to your linkedin connections to be introduced to hiring managers and employees in your desired companies. Ask current and ex-employees for a brief phone conversation about how people get hired in those companies. Join linkedin groups and connect with hiring managers and other folks in your industry who have connections.

#4. Professional groups in your field, alum associations, job fairs, meet-up groups, civic associations, and job support groups are also rich resources in your search process. Network with these groups actively.

#5. Recruiters usually specialize in specific industries, so reach out to those that work in your field. They will check out your linkedin profile, so make sure your profile has a good picture, branding statement, profile summary, competencies in bullet points, clear accomplishments in the work experience section, and great recommendations.

#6. Think about the people you do business with. This might include your financial planner, banker, insurance broker, hair dresser, bar tender, attorney—even the store clerk you chat with every day. You never know who they just finished talking to—that needs someone just like you.
In Summary—tell everybody you know! Most people are happy to help!