You know you need to add networking to your job search “to do” list. And yet, if you’re like many candidates, it’s an activity you dread.

The good news is that as leading North Houston headhunters, Kingwood Personnel knows that you don’t have to spend all your free time on it to find a great new opportunity. In fact, just by investing some time and effort into networking, you can expand your connections, while also obtaining leads, referrals, advice, guidance and support. It’s a win for you and a no-brainer for your job search.

To help you leverage the full power of networking, here are some tips to put to use:

Check yourself.

Before you reach out to your network asking for job search help, do a quick check online by Googling yourself and taking a look at your online reputation and social media profiles. The last thing you want is a friend to refer you for a job and the hiring manager to find something negative about you. Make sure everything posted about you – and by you – is appropriate and professional.

Identify what you want.

Before you reach out to a contact, make sure you’re clear on what it is you’re asking for. General or vague requests aren’t going to garner the response you want. So, for instance, if you have a contact at a company that just posted a job you’re interested in, ask whether they’d be willing to refer you.

If you’re just looking for general help, make a list of colleagues, business contacts, friends and family who could serve as a source for job leads. When you reach out to them, be as specific as possible about the type of position you’re looking for. Also, ask them if they know of any openings within their companies or at other organizations and to keep their ears open for opportunities.

Connect with people personally.

When you are contacting those in your network, don’t blast out one general email to everyone. Instead, pick up the phone and call those you’re closest to. Explain your situation and the type of positions you’re on the lookout for.

For those in your network that you’re not as close with, but still want to reach out to, send an email to each one, individually. Make it as personal as possible, so it doesn’t sound boilerplate, and also get specific in terms of the type of job you want.

Be respectful.

No matter who you’re contacting or what you’re asking for, always be respectful to those you reach out to. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being used to get a job or referral. Instead, treat your contacts like partners and allies, not just a way of achieving your end goal.

For instance, when you’re communicating with them, find out ways you can help them, too. Also, in the future, when they reach out to you for guidance and support in their job search, be quick to respond and help out.

Ready to network your way into a new job?

Call the North Houston headhunters at Kingwood Personnel. We can learn about your background, skills and career goals, all to help you find your ideal role. To find out if we’re the right resource for you, submit your resume or contact us today.