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NETWORKING

Networking plays an important part in the job search.  But if you don't know anyone in your industry of choice, there are still ways to gain a competitive advantage in the job market.

Volunteer:

Get out there and take part in as many related events as possible.  Thinking of being a teacher?  Sign on to teach a children's class at the library.  Interested in public relations?  Serve cocktails at the industry's big schmooze-fest.  And if your heart is set on working at your local radio station, be the first in line to help out with their charity run.  These activities provide a double-whammy -- not only does volunteering look fabulous on a resume, but you'll be making fantastic connections as well.

Meet people:

This may seem simplistic, but the best way to make connections is to get out there and make connections.  If there is an association for your chosen field, find out if you can attend any of their events as a guest or if you can become an associate member at a reduced cost.  Try to meet as many people as you can who are working in the career you're interested in.  Ask what the climate is like for young workers and what new skills you'll need to succeed.  Chances are the person you're talking to knows someone, who knows someone who's got the job for you.

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