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Marketing and Networking Suggestions for Contract Workers

In today's job market, knowing how to sell yourself and developing a strong network is integral to finding the job you want.

Job seekers must take the initiative to establish networks as they search for a job and throughout their career. In an employment market where the supply of workers exceeds the demand, companies tend to pay particular attention to candidates who come recommended by people they know and trust.

Steps for Effective Networking

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Identify your network
Contacts who can aid in your job search come not only from your most recent contract, but also from formal professional organizations and informal social groups. For example:
Formal professional/trade associations
Former and current classmates
Immediate and extended family members
Contacts made at conferences and workshops

Make first contact
Make the intention of your contact with people clear, and let them know that any help or guidance they can provide would be appreciated. Some tips to remember when networking:
Start with people whom you feel could aid your search directly and expand your contacts from this point.
Talk with people you know who work in your area of interest; keep a record of the name, telephone number, e-mail or business address.
When leaving a telephone message for your contacts, make sure that you are clear, concise, and professional; state your name and number twice in the message and your purpose for calling.
The transient and oft-changing nature of the contracting world makes networking especially important. The people you meet in one contract position will often help in securing your next placement.

Realize the importance of persistence
Networking for the right career takes time, effort and initiative to broaden your original network.
Spread the news to as many people as possible; let them know you are looking for an interview or willing to start work immediately.
Gradually expand your network to other related professions to increase the chances of getting a job.

Follow up
Once you have established the beginnings of your network, remember the following:
Stay in touch with people periodically (anywhere from every couple of weeks to every few months). Although people may not be able to help you out initially, opportunities may arise in the future and you want people to keep you in mind.
Whenever somebody has taken time to help you out, even if it did not result in a job opportunity, write a thank-you card. This will be doubly effective as it will remind them of your cause.

Helpful Links

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CampusAccess.com
www.campusaccess.com
Although directed towards new graduates, this site provides invaluable information. The Careers Section describes a simple process to begin your search for the hidden job market.

CareerKey
www.careerkey.com
This Canadian-based site provides information on a variety of topics for the avid job hunter. The Career Resources section gives information on networking, including do's and don'ts.

Workopolis
www.workopolis.com
Workopolis offers a Career Resource Center on its site, providing sound knowledge about the current job market. Of particular note are the site's tips for job seekers looking to market themselves effectively and build up their list of contacts.

Monster
http://www.monster.com
Under the Career Advice section, Monster provides a Networking Centre that includes a Features tab and up to 20 message boards in order to network with career experts and job seekers.

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Containment for Environmental Protection - US Inc.
Containment for Environmental Protection - US Inc.