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By Damilola Faustino

Whether you have so many contacts or not is not the issue here. What is essential is how to leverage on the few or numerous that you have, to get a job. The problem is that it can be difficult to think of ways to approach them, or even what you want to approach them for. But if you really need a job, you have to be smart about your approach by following these simple, intelligent steps:

Know your contacts

It’s easier to ask your contacts for help if you actually know and interact with them. It is not about collecting a mass of contacts. What’s really valuable is how well connected you are to your contacts. The closer the bond between you and each contact, the better to get a job. This is important so they won’t feel that you only remember them when you need something.

Treat contacts with respect

Treat your contacts as potential allies, nurture and assist them. Get to know what they want, not just tell them what you want. Your message to your contacts is that you are there to support and help them.

Give as well as take

Getting to know what your contacts want is a big part of treating them right and so is actually making the effort to help them with what they want. Once they have told you what they are looking for, really think about how you can help.

Work out what you want

Before approaching a contact, get clear on what it is you want from them. What type of job are you seeking? What sort of boss are you looking for? Once you are clear on these things, approach the contact you think is most likely to be able to help you based on your preferences.

Communicate clearly

It’s not only important to be clear about what you are asking your contacts for, but also to communicate it clearly. Make sure that you are clear and concise in your conversation with your contacts and give them a direct description of what you’re looking for.

Don’t rule anyone out

Even though it’s important to choose suitable contacts, you shouldn’t necessarily exclude anyone just because you don’t think they will be able to help you. This mainly applies to those contacts you don’t know so well yet. If you know that a certain contact is connected to the industry you’re interested in, then obviously it’s better to talk to them than to a contact that isn’t connected to that industry at all.

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