5 Everyday Networking Opportunities a Job-Seeker Can't Miss

Take advantage of informal occasions for making new contacts.

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Networking Dos and Don'ts for Weddings

Don't cross the aisle during the ceremony to meet a new business contact.

Do strike up a conversation with a table mate at the reception.

4. Beauty Salons. "The whole objective of networking is to get contacts beyond your usual group," Chopra says. "Your hairdresser has this huge network of people that you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to interact with." So the next time you're having your ends trimmed or your roots dyed, consider asking your cosmetologist if he or she has other clients that work in your field. There's usually a certain amount of trust between a stylist and regular clients, so your stylist probably wouldn't recommend you to or for someone unless he or she believed it could prove a fruitful relationship.

You should also break the ice with fellow clients you see during your salon visits. "Networking in an informal scenario [such as the hair salon] could probably create a lasting contact for you," says Crawford. "A person that you meet could help you now, or maybe could help you in the long run. Your objective is to meet new people as opposed to finding a new job. Go into social circumstances with an open mind."

Networking Dos and Don'ts for Beauty Salons

Don't assault a potential associate while he or she is under the dryer.

Do ask your stylist if he or she would be willing to take one of your business cards.

5. Places of Worship. The bonus to networking with people at a place of worship is that you probably share a certain level of trust (similar to your familiars at the hair salon). But you don't want to exploit that trust by opportunistically soliciting career advice during services. So what are some ways to make sure you stay on propriety's right side? Most importantly, leave the shop-talk for before and after. Chopra has two additional rules: "One is, never ask someone to do anything for you that they can't do by opening their mouth," she says. "If you're asking them to call someone for you, or research someone for you, then you're putting the burden of a job search on their shoulders."

"Rule no. 2 is don't make them do your thinking," Chopra continues. "You shouldn't be asking them to help you form a career path, or give you ideas. Do your own thinking ahead of time. Know what questions you're struggling with and ask them, but don't ask them to do it for you."

Networking Dos and Don'ts for Places of Worship

Don't disrupt the service with your job-hunting chatter.

Do form friendships with people in the congregation who have similar career aspirations.

Rules on Following Up. Finding the appropriate segue to follow up with a new associate might seem unnatural during one of these events. After all, a wedding isn't a job fair. Experts recommend taking these three steps if you want to maintain contact:

1. Ask permission. Directly state your interest in speaking further. "Make sure you get their contact information. You can't leave it in their hands," Crawford says. "Say something like, 'It was great talking to you, and I'd like the chance to follow up later. Would that be OK?' That lays the ground rules and lets them decide if and how they'd like to have contact with you."

2. Use email as your default contact. If your new associate doesn't state a preferred method for communication, go with email first. "At this point in your relationship, you should say what you need to in writing," Chopra says. "When you send your email, be clear on where you met, reiterate that it was a lovely conversation you had, and once again ask for more of their time."

3. Follow up quickly. "It's good to follow up in a couple of days after meeting someone new," Stevens says. "If you meet someone one weekend and then let several other weekends pass by, then you've allowed their focus to go elsewhere."