Many people are often confused about how to go about creating a career network; here is how to go about it.
Start with who you have: Job seekers should look to first ring their friends, family and acquaintances when beginning to network. Then branch out from this basic network by asking each one who they know in your line of work.
Be specific about your wants: Your network can only give you as much assistance as you ask for, so be specific. You have to be detailed in what you want, because if you say you will take anything, you will end up with nothing. Make it easy for people to understand what you want, and easy for them to repeat it to someone else.
Tapping your network: Let your network know what kind of job you want, through brief emails or messages on LinkedIn. Keep in mind that members of your network are busy with their own lives, careers and families. Send them talking points or bullet points about you and your qualifications that they could use to pass on to someone looking for your skill set.
Two-way connection: Effective networking is a two-way street of giving and receiving. Offer to help people in your network so that when it is time that you need assistance, you have built up positive good will with your network. The object is to get to know people and to give them a chance to get to know you.
Mix the Networking: A mix of both online and in-person networking is most effective. Social media is fine for networking, but be careful to not hide behind your computer. True networking is best done face to face. Attend social gatherings, networking events and professional association meetings.