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They’re not milk cartons. There is no expiration date on your contacts.

The data is pretty convincing. Numerous sources cite that upwards of 80 percent of all jobs are never posted and 40 percent of all hires come from the referral pool.

What this means to the job seeker is that you’re more likely to find a job through your network of contacts than anywhere else.

This is good news for the older job seeker. With more years in the workforce, you’ve built up a network of contacts that is broader and deeper than any other age group. And if history is any indication, someone in that network of yours is possibly holding the key to your next job.

The better news for the older job seeker is that, as referenced above, there is no expiration date on your contacts. Even people you knew and/or worked with 30, or even 40 years ago may be able to provide some assistance for you. But you won’t know that until you ask.

Job search guru Dawn Graham notes that the old six degrees of separation, thanks to technology, is now down to four.

We knew of a consultant who claimed that the first place he looked for new business was from the arena of his former clients. He said it worked almost every time. Granted, you’re not looking for new business per se, but the concept is still the same.

The hardest part for you is in assembling all those contacts and keeping track of them. Fortunately, technology can help here as well. There are numerous CRM – customer relationship management – systems out there which you may be able to use.

The bad news is that most of them are not free. The good news is that you can probably achieve the same results with an Excel spreadsheet. If you don’t feel too comfortable with Excel, there are many many online courses and tutorials that can help.

Don’t let those old contacts gather dust on your mantle. Brush them off and get them working for you.


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