SEATTLE - Darren Shipp is no stranger to the job hunt. After relocating for a job his position was eliminated as part of an acquisition.

Video: Job hunters turn to networking

Shipp found himself scrambling to find work. But instead of hitting the classifieds or the net, he jumped into a networking program at his local church.

"By meeting people here, I was able to make acquaintances that led me to a recruiter," he said.

That landed Darren a job. He's not alone. Many people, including career expert Judith Hoppin of National Career Development Assoc., say networking can have a real domino effect.

"I think every job I've ever had, except one, I've gotten because I knew somebody," she said.

She says the first step to networking success is to reach out to everybody you know, from family and friends, to churches, temples and professional trade organizations.

"You contact them and you say, 'Here's who I am, here are my skills, here's what I'm looking at for employment and do you know of anyone else that could help me?'" she said.

Then continue to call on them and don't scratch them off the list if they don't call back.

Keep accurate records of who you called and keep contacts updated on any leads they passed on. And if you find work, keep up with the networking.

Here's a expert tip: Craft a 30-second elevator pitch.It's a 30-second speech pitching your talents should you end up in a place like an elevator where you bump into a potential employer. They say it pays in any situation, even you're already employed.

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