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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 70% of all jobs are filled through networking. According to this statistic, the best job search method of 2014 is connecting with people. Before you head out to network and tap into what many call the “hidden job market,” make sure you understand these essential networking do’s and don’ts.


Do make networking a priority each week.

Do not spend all of your time searching for a job on the computer.


Do keep an excel spreadsheet of your networking contacts.

Do not forget to keep your document current with notes from meetings.


Do get more involved through a professional organization, hobby, sports, church group, etc.

Do not be shy; networking is all about meeting people.


Do research companies in your field of expertise or interest to find someone to talk to, just to learn.

Do not think that because someone works in a completely different industry that they cannot be helpful in broadening your network.


Do ask questions about someone’s company, jobs, and industry.

Do not ask about vacation policies, benefits, nor salaries.


Do show interest in learning about how your skills may fit into an organization or industry.

Do not simply say, “I’m looking for a job.”


Do exchange business cards.

Do not forget to follow up every meeting with a thank you note/email.


Published data estimates that 75% to 95% of open jobs go unadvertised. Searching job boards is not enough anymore. To perform an effective job search, you need to begin building your network to discover potential opportunities. There’s no better time than a new year to start.