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Everyone should know by now that networking is the best way to find a job. Where job boards have a 3-10% effectiveness rate, and probably less now that Applicant Tracking Systems (the software that will rank your resume) are becoming prevalent, networking has a 30-60% effectiveness rate. Referred people are less risk and have a higher retention rate – that’s why companies offer referral bonuses to employees who recommend someone who has been hired. Related: 10 Common Networking Mistakes To Avoid Unfortunately, people do not know how to network (one day I will probably write a short book on how to do it). Most people think that telling their friends and acquaintances that they are looking for a job, and arming them with your resume is the right thing to do. Wrong – when you do that, you just lost control of the process. So, if that was what you were planning to do, don’t. One of the first things you should do (after you have a great resume and LinkedIn Profile) is to join networking groups where people like you help each other. There are literally dozens of networking groups to join and here is a list of some of them. You can find more by just doing a Google search for the type you are seeking. For example, search on accounting networking groups and see that the AICPA and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) have local networking events. And yes, there are networking groups and associations for administrative professionals (AEAP – Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals and IAAP – International Association of Administrative Professionals). You can see a full list of associations here.

1. Alumni Organizations

One of the first places you should go as Career Services probably has an email list you can join and some programs for alumni.

2. Your Local Chamber Of Commerce

They always have networking, often for small businesses to connect but also for job seekers.

3. LinkedIn

You can join up to 50 groups which are great for demonstrating your expertise and joining discussions. There are groups for your profession and networking groups for job seekers. A lot of the job-focused groups have companies showing their open jobs.

4. Meetup.com

Yes, they even have meetings for business networking.

5. ExecuNet

An executive level job board that provides networking opportunities.

6. NetShare

Another executive job board that formally promotes networking.

7. ChiefExecutiveNetwork.com

Paid site that offers networking by industry group.

8. Executive Networking Groups

Really great sites that have local chapters include:
  • FENG – Financial Executives Networking Group
  • MENG – Marketing Executives Networking Group
  • TENG Technology Executives Networking Group
  • BENG – Business Executives Networking Group
  • SENG – Senior Executive Networking Group

9. BNI International

Touted as the largest business networking organization in the world. I think you get the idea. Search for networking groups within your profession and you are sure to make new connections and expand your reach. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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