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Who Is in Your Network?

Your network includes the people you feel comfortable contacting, including:

  • Family, friends, and neighbours
  • People you’ve worked or gone to school with, past and present
  • People you know socially and through religious and community groups

Other network opportunities to consider include:

  • Alumni groups
  • Professional associations
  • Unions

Many industry, alumni and professional associations, and some unions offer networking services to their members. They can be accessed through their websites. Even non-members may be able to see an organization’s online newsletter to identify potential contacts and opportunities.

To locate websites for organizations in your field:

Professional networking sites

Professional networking websites such as LinkedIn are similar to social networking websites. Their focus is on business. You create a profile on the website that functions like an expanded resumé.

When you invite your contacts to join the service or connect with you, you get the chance to connect with their contacts as well.

To use a professional networking website for work search, try these suggestions:

  • Include information on your profile that will help you connect widely. For example, include past employers and the university or college you attended.
  • Allow your profile to be widely accessed.
  • If you’re currently employed, don’t ask your network directly for job leads. Instead, ask general questions about occupations, industries and organizations.
  • Use services offered by the website that increase your visibility and connections. This will help you see if you have any contacts in companies posting the jobs. These include question and answer groups or applications that allow you to check job postings against your network.
  • Contact professionals you deal with, like dentists, doctors, or lawyers.
  • Contact former employers, teachers, and instructors.
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