Networking is still the number one method for finding work. The first step in any job search is to start working on that list of everyone you possibly know who could be a potential resource. Remember to tap all of them, and to take particular aim at people who will have an interest in meeting you, rather than who will meet you because Harry referred you. Your list should include people from your industry, who will be happy to hear what you know and have heard; alumni of your college (especially if you’re a good distance from the school – if you’re a University of Kansas grad and live in Boston, the few Kansas alums in the area will probably be quite interested in talking with you); plus, of course, anyone else with whom you can develop some type of kinship. Be active – talk to anyone you can, and anyone you meet who might be able to help.
Be wary of pushing people too hard here – if someone wants to give you only a little time on the phone, then take that, rather than push for a face-to-face meeting. Also, be careful not to spend too much time pushing third- and fourth-tier networking sources. A person you know can make a strong case for you, but the next person can’t really give you a strong referral to someone else after only a brief meeting with you. When you go too far beyond the second layer of networking, your batting average drops quickly, and these meetings can be time-consuming and frustrating.