Who makes the best networking contacts? Everyone you know!
The contacts in your network may not have a job for you right now. But they could have career advice. Or they might know someone who knows someone else who knows someone with a job lead. That's how networking works.
Many jobs are never advertised. This is why networking is an important part of a job search. Employers prefer to interview and hire people referred to them by people they know. This includes referrals from job clubs and WorkForce Centers. Referrals can be especially helpful for job seekers with criminal records.
Networking is not something only executives do. It's not something only for outgoing, super-confident people either. And it's not just for parties.
Networking is simply talking with people who have similar interests or career goals. The goal is to help each other with those career goals. Family members network with each other when they pass along career advice. Friends network when they share job leads. Coworkers network when they talk about industry trends and company information.
If you have ever received a job lead from a friend or talked with anyone about the job market, then you have networked. Congratulations!
Networking should not be limited to casual conversations. Develop a plan to contact people for ideas, suggestions, and information that will help you find job leads. Networking depends on building relationships with people.