By Alison Doyle, Guide
I reached out to some of the most respected authorities in the field of employment and asked if they could share some of their best job search advice. These experts in job searching and career development techniques were very gracious to offer some of their tried and true tips on how to maximize everyone's potential to land that "special job." Suggestions range from the traditional to the creative and all the advice is well-worth integrating into your job search.

Tory Johnson
Women For Hire
Do not underestimate the power of networking. The majority of successful candidates find their positions through networking--not by sitting back and waiting for online job boards to deliver offers to their desktop. It's not just for powerful titans of industry; anyone can learn to network successfully. Start small by paying more attention to people around you. Don't be shy about calling long lost relatives or chatting up the person sitting on the treadmill next to you at the gym. Tell them what you're looking for and find out who they know or how they might be able to help. Expand your network by joining professional associations and attending local events. Finding a job is a full-time job--stay positive, stay focused and don't give up!

Ken Ramberg
A successful job search strategy will consist of both an online and an offline approach. To find the "hidden" job market one should focus on building his/her network including professors, friends, and relatives, and former employers or any professionals these people recommend. Successful networking requires that you have as many contacts as possible hear your story, so they realize you are in the job market. To find "pubished" opportunities, the Internet is clearly the place to go. Sites like continue to take market share from the newspapers' help-wanted ads as the Internet has proven to be a faster and cheaper alternative to print.

Kay Stout
Right Management Consultants
Alumni are not just "old grads"...they can be the key to your first (or next) career position.
Example: You graduated from the University of Missouri, but you want to live near great skiing in Denver, Colorado. There's no better way to begin the journey than in the alumni director's office. Spending a few hours looking through the directory and identifying people who either currently live in the Denver area or alumni who share your degree can be the start of something BIG... i.e. a paycheck.
A well written letter, with the first paragraph linking the two of you to the same university and/or degree will catch their attention. The rest of the letter is "s Paul Harvey says"...the rest of the story...It should be a letter asking for an opportunity to visit with them either in person (if you're headed to Denver).... or by phone for their advice and input on where you should begin your career search.
Friendly Reminder: You should always be a member of your college alumni association, and all other organizations to which you belonged while cramming for the big tests to get that diploma. They can be wonderful resources for your career.

Susan Heathfield
About Guide to Human Resources
When you search for a job, network with everyone you know and never leave the meeting without asking for a referral to more people. I once picked up a half-time consulting assignment when a friend referred me to an associate who referred me to an associate, and so on. The actual assignment came from the fourth associate I met. The person who provided the job idn't even know the person who had started the chain of referrals. This has always been the most important way I have obtained jobs.

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