If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there. - Robert Kiyosaki

Most jobs are never posted on a job board. In fact, networking might be the key to finding the job of your dreams. Networking can seem difficult and even mysterious for many job seekers, but with practice everyone can develop a powerful network that produces results. The key point to remember when networking is that you are really developing relationships. The best way to get someone to assist you is to find out how you can be of assistance to them. In other words, you help others and they in turn will help you. Start developing your network today by following these steps. 

Getting Started

Beyond Job Boards: 6 Effective Job Search Strategies - With thousands of job boards available online today, it can be easy to limit your job search to only applying to jobs found online. For increased job search success, consider incorporating these strategies into your job search.

Why Network? in CareerBeam - This module provides you with the critical elements for successful networking. It will dramatically change your definition, understanding, and application of this vital element in the career search process.

Industries & Companies - Identify industries and companies of interest. The clearer your goal, the easier it is for people to help you.

Covering the Essentials

Networking Strategies & Networking Preferences in CareerBeam - Learn more about places to network, types of networks, your personal networking preferences, and ways to ensure networking success. 

Develop Your Brand - Branding is becoming increasingly important in the job search process. Once you have identified your career goal, you will want to develop your personal brand and your “info-mercial” that you will use when interacting with your network.

Info-mercial Worksheet - Develop your unique and powerful 30-60 second introduction. You can use this introduction just about everywhere – from family reunions to professional networking events. It is also the foundation to that popular interview question: “Tell me about yourself".

Creating Your Network & Network Creation exercises in CareerBeam - The goal of these exercises are to help you generate a networking list to assist you in accomplishing your career goals. Networking starts when you let everyone in your immediate circle know what you are looking for so that they can help you by looking for leads.

Putting it All Together

Email or pick up the phone to reach out to your network. Once you have a clear career goal with a list of companies and industries you are interested in and you have considered and created your personal brand, start reaching out to people you know!

Social Media - Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join the WGU - Western Governors University Alumni & Students group on LinkedIn to connect with other WGU students, alumni, and employers and make sure to follow WGU Career & Professional Development on Twitter @Owls2Work

Informational Interview - Utilize your network to connect with individuals who work in the industry you are interested in or at a company you are pursuing. Reference the person who referred you and be specific and concise in your request by explaining why you would like to speak to them. Don't start by asking whether they are hiring.  Be sure to prepare questions to ask during the informational interview ahead of time.

Send a thank you note to everyone that you network with. Remember that one of the keys to a successful job search is to be actively engaged and that means following up with your network to thank them and keep them informed of your progress. 

Monitor your  progress - Keep track of your contacts utilizing the tools available in CareerBeam. Include the contact name, their company, the action you have taken (emailed, informational interview, thank you note), and the results of your networking. Also remember to notify your contacts when you apply for a position with their company and/or in their industry.