You may be tired of hearing this, but it really is all about who you know. So step it up and set yourself some new networking goals.

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OK, so the stock market is posting record highs. Even more important, unemployment statistics are looking — for the first time in a long time — not that bad.

This is good news if you are looking for work. So now, more than ever, is the time to brush up on those yeah-you’ve-heard-them-before (but still very important!) basics. Especially if you’ve been looking for a while.

Here goes: You may be tired of hearing this, but it really is all about who you know: i.e., your network. Basically, your professional network cannot be too big. If you are relying on Internet job postings, or any other job postings, you are seriously limiting your chances of success.

So step it up and set yourself some new networking goals; for example, making X new contacts every day. Rethink who you know: former bosses/colleagues, neighbors, friends, friends of friends, relatives of friends, relatives of friends of neighbors’ bosses. Use your spouse’s network, too.

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Of course, a huge network isn’t going to help unless you keep working it. This especially includes potential employers with whom you’ve interviewed. Keep in touch with them. Respond to their tweets and status updates. Send them links to interesting/relevant articles. Stay on their radar.

Networking is the key. But while you’re refurbishing your job search, you might want to also consider whether you are guilty of these most common foibles:

You’re not going straight to the hiring manager. Use networking to find the names of the people who would actually be your boss, and then approach them directly.

You’re projecting negativity. Yes, you may be feeling more desperate with each passing day. It’s OK to feel it; the trick is not to display it. So exercise, meditate, pray, read upbeat literature — whatever you need to do to appear positive.

You are unknowingly sabotaging yourself. Do you jiggle your knee, twirl your hair, nibble your nails? Are you too talkative? Not talkative enough? Are your clothes inappropriate? Ask someone in your professional network for some honest feedback.

Now may be your time. Best of luck!

Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at