In such a tumultuous economy, it can sometimes seem impossible to land a job, even when you have more than enough experience and education for a position. In these cases, it's incredibly helpful to use your personal connections to find a position in your field. Many positions go unadvertised because they are filled through personal connections rather than impersonal job networks. Here are some ways to network  with your acquaintances to help you on your way toward getting a great job.
Connect on LinkedIn: Although networking in person is great, you should first get set up on LinkedIn.  Many companies use this website to find and recruit new employees, and it's a great way to get connected with your acquaintances. Start by filling out your profile with all of your professional experiences, and then get connected right away with your friends and coworkers. Then, as you talk with acquaintances in person, you can mention that you'd like to connect with them on LinkedIn. Even if they can't help you network right away, they may be connected to positions you'd like to apply to in the future.
Ask Everyone About Open Positions: Your friends, relatives, neighbors, and other acquaintances work at a wide range of companies, many of which may be a great fit for you. Always be asking people you see if they know of any open positions at their companies that may be a good fit for you. Many companies start by trying to hire internally, or by offering recruitment bonuses if their employees can help find a qualified person to fill the position. The positions you hear about are often unadvertised, so you'll have a much better chance of getting them because you don't have to compete with as many other candidates.
Submit Resumes Through Current Employees: When you hear about a position and would like to apply for it, don't just send your generic resume to the hiring manager. Instead, have the current employee submit your application on your behalf. Write a personalized cover letter that mentions the current employee by name and describes why you think you would be a great fit for the position, based on what you have learned about the company and position from your acquaintance. Then ask the person you know who works there to submit the resume and cover letter for you, ideally with a personal recommendation as well. This helps you stand out as someone who will be a good fit for the company and position.
You don't have to find and get a job on your own. There are many people you connect with on a regular basis who would be happy to help you find an open position that's a great fit for your skills, education, and career goals. Don't be afraid to tell people what type of job you are looking for and ask them to help you connect with open positions they know about. Adding personal networking to your job search can give you a much better chance of getting a great job!
For a related article about LinkedIn, click here.