The best way to find a job is through the classified ads in the newspaper.
This is a common but incorrect belief. The most effective way to find a job is through your people connections: your family, friends, coworkers, past employers, teachers, etc.
The art of building alliances. Huh? In other words, networking is developing contacts and exchanging information with others, as you further your career. Networking starts long before the job search begins as you meet new people through work and social activities.
It is well documented that only 20-30% of all job openings are advertised through the newspaper. The other 70-80% are buried in the "hidden job market." This market is available to you through networking.
How do I network
Let people know you are looking for work! Ask them for leads or if they know if there is any hiring going on in their place of employment. They can also give you names of other people to contact. It is important to make your network as far reaching as possible. The larger the net, the bigger the catch!
Who should I contact
Everyday activities such as visiting with neighbors, volunteering for a local park "clean-up day," talking to sales people, waiting at the doctor's office, meeting parents at your child’s sport or music event can be network opportunities. These informal contacts become purposeful communication as you move to the next level and tap them for potential job lead information. Each planned contact you make can lead to many new ones.
Ultimately, networking is a lifelong process of nurturing relationships as you enjoy and care for those around you. Make a conscious effort and your experiences will be deepened and your opportunities enlarged. Don’t limit yourself. Be creative!