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According to a 2016 LinkedIn survey, up to 85 percent of all job opportunities are discovered through networking: connecting with people you already know.

Since networking is such a powerful tool for finding the right position, here are ten ways to nurture the connections you need to bolster your career:

Keep connections simple, but frequent.

When a colleague earns a promotion or changes jobs, send them a quick congratulatory note. LinkedIn and similar social media tools make it easy to keep track of these changes and respond when they happen.

Be helpful.

When you run across information specific to a connection’s work or passions, send it to them. Often, others feel more willing to help us when we have a track record of helping them.

Get their opinion.

We all like to feel our professional knowledge is valued. If you run into a problem, ask a colleague for their opinion. You’ve strengthened the connection and may gain valuable perspective as well.

Make introductions.

At professional events, introduce members of your network to one another. Often, both contacts will be grateful for the chance to expand their own networks – and will remember you made it happen.

Group up.

Joining professional organizations can help you expand your list of colleagues. It can also help you stand out as a member of others’ networks whose insight is worth tapping into.

Get together.

Meeting up with a colleague in person for coffee, lunch, a walk or a similar short event helps you strengthen connections in ways that email simply can’t match. Set a goal to connect in person with one colleague every week.

Put it on the schedule.

Tasks on your schedule are more likely to get done. Whether it’s sending a congratulatory card or meeting for coffee, schedule your networking time, so other tasks don’t push it out of the way.

Follow up.

If a colleague helps you with a problem, let them know how things turned out. If a hint about a job opening leads to a new job for you, thank the person who clued you in.

Keep a bucket list.

Who else would you like to know in person? Keep a list of people you’d like to add to your professional network and find ways to meet them – whether it’s through a mutual contact, at a conference or simply by introducing yourself.

Reach out.

Recruiters focus on building strong relationships, so having a recruiter on your side automatically expands your “extended network” – and opens the door for your recruiter to introduce you to the right person at the right time.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our recruiters specialize in connecting dedicated professionals to some of the best jobs and employers in the energy industry. To learn more, contact us today.

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