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Networking: How to Accelerate Your Job Search

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The U.S. Labor Department released it's highly anticipated job report Friday, and their news was not as good as it had unexpectedly been just a month ago.

The December 2009 report revealed that jobs were actually created in the month of November, marking the first increase in employment since the onset of the recession almost two years ago. Unfortunately, the Labor Department's latest jobs report did not maintain the same positive indication. In the last month, employers cut 85,000 jobs, suggesting that optimism regarding economic recovery may be a bit premature. The unemployment rate remains at 10%.

With the job market lagging and unemployment on the rise, competition is sure to be fierce for what few job openings do exist in an expansive market. In such a climate, networking is an absolute must, though it may make some people uncomfortable. Many opportunities are never announced to the public and employers are generally more likely to grant greater consideration to applicants who can be vouched for by reliable sources.

According to Brad Karsh, president of JobBound, a Chicago-based a career consulting firm, "If you're a passive job seeker, you're likely to remain unemployed. You have to be an active networker to land your dream job."

With that in mind, there are successful ways to network and there are counterproductive ways to network. Networking effectively can land you a job, but going about it the wrong way can hurt your chances. Take a look at the following video which takes a lighthearted look at effective and ineffective ways to network: