Using networking to find a job

FRESNO, Calif.

According to careercrossroads, an online staffing site, 24 percent of people are hired from positions posted on job boards like

Two percent are hired from job fairs and the classifieds.

It seems the best way to get hired is connecting with some one you know.

We call it networking.

Walking into a room full of people you don't know can be an unnerving experience for some.

"I thought oh, this is going to be good practice. Getting into a situation where I didn't know anybody," job-seeker Kristina Richardson said.

Richardson is trying a different approach when it comes to her search for a job - networking.

She decided to attend a mixer put on by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce after attending a workshop featuring Beth Bridges.

"I am here because I'm a huge believer in the power of networking in the way it works for people, the power of it for a job search," Bridges said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. They call it the hidden job market.

"Unless you know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who talks to you, you don't know about those jobs," Bridges said.

Armed with that information, Kristina jumped at the chance to attend the mixer.

She admits to being a little nervous, but Beth is there to give her some tips.

"And really it's just as simple as walking up and sticking your hand out and saying 'hi, I am Kristina'," Bridges said.

Networking is all about connecting, so be prepared to talk about yourself. People will want to know what you do, and they will also want to know who you know. Everyone is there for the same reason- to connect with other people.

"For example, I just made a contact for one of the accounts I already have," sales manager Roxanne Schumaker said.

Although Kristina said she didn't get any real leads on a job opportunity at this event, she did come away with some ideas and plans to follow up.

She called it a very positive experience and came away with a new appreciation for networking.

"Look at every opportunity, in other words to talk to people connect with people. Let them know where you're coming from. Let them know you are looking. You'd be surprised what that one person might know that could lead you in the direction of a potential job," Richardson said.

Both the Clovis and Greater Fresno Chambers have networking opportunities every month, and the professional social networking site, LinkedIn, is a great way to stay connected to people who could lead you to a job contact.

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