Networking may give you the edge in a cut-throat job hunt

Report by Lauren Lowrey - email | bio

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Unemployment across the nation continues to rise, leaving those looking for work up against serious competition.

While many take their job hunt to the Internet, others are making their connections face to face.

Darren Shipp is no stranger to the job hunt. In fact, after relocating for a job, "My position was eliminated as part of an acquisition," he tells us.

He found himself scrambling to find work again. Instead of hitting the classifieds or the net, he turned to an old fashioned job networking program offered at his local church.

"By meeting people here, I was able to make acquaintances that led me to a recruiter." That landed Darren a job. He's not alone. Many people, including career expert Judith Hoppin, say networking can have a real domino effect.

"I think every job I've ever had, except one, I've gotten because I knew somebody," says Hoppin with National Career Development.

She says the first step to networking success is to reach out to everybody you know, from family and friends, to churches, temples and professional trade organizations.  She explains, "You contact them and you say, 'Here's who I am, here are my skills, here's what I'm looking at for employment and do you know of anyone else that could help me?'"

Then continue to call on them and don't scratch them off the list if they don't call back. "Keep in contact with those people in your network. Remind them occasionally that you are still looking and what you are looking for."

Keep accurate records of who you called and keep contacts updated on any leads they passed on.

If you find work, keep up with the networking, and think about returning the favor.