Love it or hate it, there's always room for improvement when it comes to networking.

Whether you’re a shy or bold job seeker, there are many ways to network! These days, online networking via social media sites is a huge resource. However, don’t forget that always having an updated resume, a polished elevator pitch, and a positive attitude can do wonders when interacting with others in the search for your dream job. Our resume writers weighed in with their best networking tips for your job search and there seem to be some common themes.

TopResume writer Lauren P.

LinkedIn is a fantastic online tool to aid your networking efforts. It's specifically geared towards connecting with past and present colleagues that one might not want to interact with on other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Networking through mutual contacts and face-to-face interactions is also always valuable. It never hurts to join professional organizations, attend networking events and conferences, and confer with like-minded professionals. It’s also good to tag along with current colleagues that invite you out to lunch or dinner with a former coworker of theirs; it's a less formal and more organic way to connect and you never know where these interactions may lead! It may also serve your job search well to reconnect with old mentors and former supervisors to see if they have any potential ideas for searching or any leads.

TopResume writer Carrie M.

Volunteer for a cause you believe in. There’s no better way to form a meaningful connection with someone than over a shared interest. While the nonprofit you choose for your volunteer work may have nothing to do with your career goals, what’s to say the people you meet won’t be able to introduce you to connections that area? 

Also, go into every networking event with an attitude of service, remain curious, and do not appear self-serving. Look for the opportunities to pay it forward — I guarantee your goodwill will be repaid in full! Always have business cards available to hand out and prepare an elevator pitch that you like and can say enthusiastically. Do not complain or be negative.

TopResume writer Mark S.

Facebook and LinkedIn are your best friends. Use them to find connections to the companies, industries, and lines of work that interest you. You never know who will be the key to finding your next job opportunity!

Related: How to Your Leverage LinkedIn During Your Job Search

TopResume writer Keith F.

LinkedIn really is magic when it comes to the job search. I have heard numerous success stories of applicants getting their dream jobs thanks to a little social networking.

TopResume writer Cheryl P.

Talk about your job campaign everywhere. Never ask someone to help you get a job or for a job, but mention you are looking and to please let you know if they hear of anything appropriate. Keep your business cards handy and give them to everyone — the person in the grocery line that you are chatting with, the guy sitting next to you at a ballgame. You never know where a lead may come from. Attend social gatherings, local clubs, networking clubs, Chamber of Commerce events — hand out your business cards and talk with people. Utilize LinkedIn and other online resources, and pay close attention to the list of companies that are of particular interest to you, rather just answering ads.

Related: Yes, Business Cards Still Matter. Here’s How to Craft Good Ones

TopResume writer Joanna I.

Talk to everyone. Don't be afraid to strike up conversations wherever you go if you’re on the hunt. Carry business cards with you – you never know who you’ll meet who might know someone who knows someone who’s looking for someone with your skills. And always have that elevator pitch ready.

Looks like there are some common trends: business cards, a professional social media presence, and a first-rate elevator pitch. Do you have them ready to go? Nice! Now, get out there, reach out to people, get out there, and be social! You never know who you'll meet and where a new connection could lead you in your job search.

Click on the following link for more networking tips.

Is your resume ready for your new connections? Get a free resume critique to find out.

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