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Getting a job can be a major challenge, especially if it is your first job or you're over 50. Related: Top 10 People You Must Have In Your Network To Find A Job Think of the job market in your area and how many people will be applying for a job listed on an online job board or local newspaper. All applicants are your competitors for the prized job. How will you give yourself the best chance of success in finding a job? How do you stand out from the crowd? How can you get the inside running? EVERY person you know could become your sponsor, supporter, and a referrer for the opportunity you want. Consider the following to help you network your way to a new job:

1. Consult With Recruitment Agencies

Meet and discuss opportunities for employment. Agents can directly market you to their contacts. Also some jobs are not advertised and you can connect directly into this market via the recruiter who will look for suitable candidates to present to their customers.

2. Use LinkedIn

Get your profile out to the market place. Connect with your friends and contacts and ask to be recommended, endorsed and introduced to new potential contacts. Take out a subscription for the Job Seeker package and become a featured applicant and send InMails to the recruiter.

3. Utilize School/Employment Careers Officers, Friends, Family, And Acquaintances

All of these people can also be another good source of information, as you have many people who can spot jobs for you and recommend you to their networks as well.

4. Do Tertiary Training

Training that is tailored to your intended career path and will meet your potential employer's needs will put you a step ahead of other applicants. Many large companies line up at the universities/training colleges and hire graduates.

5. Take Job-Specific Training Courses

These are great for getting recommended to potential employers by your teacher, coach or trainer.

6. Join Business Networking Organizations

Take a look at your local business network clubs, and maybe even a political party. Ask to attend your local Chamber of Commerce meetings, and your City Council’s social or formal events with a working friend who has an invite. These are great for meeting CEO’s of the local companies.

7. Join Community Organizations

Rotary club, Lions Club International, women’s clubs such as Zonta and Soroptimist International are involved in charity fundraisers and other community/cultural events. Toastmasters are especially good, as this club has members who want speaking self-improvement for professional or personal reasons.

8. Join A Club

Sports clubs, golf, tennis, ski, hiking, men’s/women’s social clubs, yacht, and swimming clubs are all great opportunities to connect. Most clubs have people who make employment decisions, or know someone who does! Getting on club committees can showcase your ability and potential. Ask friends for invites to attend private clubs and organisations. Some of my best past job offers have come from members of clubs that I have been involved in.

9. Find A Mentor Or Patron

Work with a patron who can recommend you. Be guided by your mentor/s, and their network of contacts.

10. Impress Your Customers

Work hard and impress your customers with your competence. They may just be your next employer. Getting the first and last jobs in your career can be the hardest challenges, but if you review the list above and try these options, success will come. Remember that the job you want is waiting for you. Use your new and existing contacts to find it. Good luck and happy job-hunting! This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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