By Sunny Simon

It happened again last week. I received a call from an excited client. She got the job! I did a happy dance. Then she delivered a sentence I hear more often than not. My client proclaimed I was right by advising her to focus on networking.

I love getting my message across but I admit it is not always easy to convince job seekers to spend at least 75% of their time networking. Most individuals looking for a new position whittle away hours scanning job boards and firing off resumes. Of course viable jobs can be obtained by perusing search engines such as and What candidates do not realize is only 20% of the job market is actually visible. The remaining 80% is referred to as the “hidden job market” and the only way to access it is through networking.

According to the Department of Labor, approximately 70 to 80% of available jobs are found through networking. In fact, more jobs are filled before they are ever advertised. That is why networking is so crucial to your job search.

So how do you access the magic of networking? Begin by building your network. Think of it like creating a “net” of contacts to help capture opportunities for you. Each new contact made is like tying another knot in the net thus making it stronger and more effective.

Networking is simply research you do with others to obtain information and advice. It’s important to get people on your team and engage them in your job search. Once you’ve established a bond with your contacts, you’ll also want to ask for contact names of other people who can give you information and assistance. Most importantly, the magic happens when you build relationships. Networking is a dual process. Find out how you might be able to return the favor.

I believe everyone should have a prominent LinkedIn profile and actively utilize that social networking platform. Remember to pick up the phone. Do not be tempted to hide behind email. Make it your business to meet with your contacts face to face if possible. Arrange a time to have lunch, coffee or just a brief 15 to 20 minute meeting. Share your resume with your network and don’t be shy about asking for help. It’s important to keep your contacts in the loop and up-to-date on your job search progress.

Ready now to kick your job search into high gear? Overcome any reservations you have about spending the majority of your time connecting with your network. Take charge of your job search by fueling it with successful networking techniques.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at