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Before you can begin the networkng process and expedite your job search, you have to take care of a few preliminaries. First adopt the right mindset by recognizing that your networking contacts gained through informational interviewing aren't career counselors, and not responsible for helping you decide what kind of a job you want. In fact, they won't be able to help you until you have a pretty good sense of what you want to do with the next phase of your career.

Consider taking these steps to finish your pre-networking homework:

  • Have a finished résumé and cover letter.
  • Develop a clear job objective that you can verbally relay in a sentence or two, and be sure it reflects the goals you've highlighted in your written pitch.
  • Know which companies you're most interested in working for.
  • Know which professionals you most want to meet.

If you're switching careers, know enough about the industry you're trying to enter so that you can engage in intelligent "shop talk." If you know where you're headed and what you want to do once you get there, you'll likely radiate confidence along with a clear sense of direction. Your winning attitude and sharp focus will impress your networking contacts and go a long way toward convincing them to lend you their support in your job search.

©Copyright 2008 Professionals In Transition Support Group, Inc.

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