When it comes to landing a new gig, we all need a little help from our friends (and Facebook acquaintances). Marcia Heroux Pounds, author of “I Found a Job!: Career Advice from Job Hunters Who Landed on Their Feet,” shares tips on how to network your way to a new job.

Get involved: Look for networking groups that have a broader membership than those in career transition: ExecuNet, which has chapters across the country, is a group that brings executives, recruiters and business leaders together for discussion in person and online.

Leadership organizations can also be great. Toastmasters, which helps people become comfortable with public speaking, is a way to meet people from many different industries.

Volunteer your expertise: Use your knowledge in a field to help others, and it can benefit you in your job search. Employers want to hire people who are highly regarded in their fields. Volunteering provides the opportunity to build a reputation while making key contacts.

Be curious: As you’re networking or just running errands, be aware of what’s going on around you and ask questions. Curiosity usually leads to discovery. That can mean meeting someone who will lead you to a potential job. If you’re shy, asking people about their jobs, careers or interests can be a way to expand your network.

It’s a small world

With so many people in so many industries displaced in the recession, it’s highly likely you will know people at potential employers. Previous work experience with someone on the inside can be a major advantage.

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