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Networking for Soldiers

When looking for jobs, here are five ways to make the most out of your existing connections—and build new ones

1. GET THE WORD OUT

The people you know can be valuable for leads, but they can’t refer you to a job if they don’t know you’re looking. Be sure to tell your friends, your family, even your mail carrier that you’re searching. Mention it more than once. Tell your chain of command and find your state’s employment assistance office. Be specific with what you’re looking for and chase every lead.

2. LINK UP ONLINE

Make LinkedIn.com your first priority. Update your profile and connect with friends and co-workers. Join Veterans groups and don’t be afraid to post messages with questions. Veterans love helping other Veterans. Using LinkedIn will not only open more doors for you, it will let you scout potential employers.

3. BRING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE

The best networkers aren’t just takers—they’re givers too. Find ways to help others, using whatever you have to offer. The more you give, the more likely you are to receive.

4. DON’T SIT ON THE SIDELINES

Get out there and do things. Coach a soccer team. Volunteer at a nonprofit. Not only will this keep you sane during your search, but every time you get out and meet people, you’ll be expanding your network.

5. FOLLOW UP

From the business card you got at a military job fair to the name you got from that friend of a friend, the key to successful networking is hard work. That means in-person visits when possible, phone calls as a backup and emails only when absolutely necessary.

Get more tips on the job search at ResumeEngine.org

 

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