Stan Neumann's Job Hunting Page - Networking Tips
Links that I've collected, some of which are useful.
Mostly focused on software engineering and management

The first and most important message is that you need to start to build your network before you need to use it. As in gardening, you need to plant seeds long before you can harvest the fruit!

Note that I find that most of the networking organizations formed to help people find jobs are attended by people who don't have jobs (duh!) - while that can provide emotional support, those aren't the people who can help you find a job, so don't put much hope in them...

Some things you should be doing:

The most important message: as an introvert (most of us are!), we need to fight the urge to just go and be anonymous - we need to get out of our comfort zone and talk to people, make connections, share information, ask questions, and be noticed. If you need help with getting the conversation going, here are some conversation starters and a few more . One of the interesting comments was to act like a host - introduce people to each other as if you were hosting a party at home.

If you can afford the time, one very effective way to make connections is to volunteer - something as simple as checking people in to a SharePoint Saturday gives you a chance to be visible to everyone that comes in, and gives you a chance to talk to the people organizing the meeting, who usually are the well-connected people that can help you out later on.

Other places to look (while some of these are very regional, they might inspire similar groups in your area...)

10 Networking Tips for Techies (written for entrepeneurs looking for investors at events, but could be useful in other ways)

Take the pressure off by doing some prep work ahead of time. Find out who is going to be in the room. Check the event website and then get some background on those people through LinkedIn or Jigsaw.

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