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Hone your networking skills

It may be easy pickings these days on the job-hunting front. But that old technique - networking - remains key to finding the job that best suits you, says Dee Helfgott, a California success coach and networking expert.

Yes, first appearances matter in relationship-building, confirms Ms. Helfgott. Neatness and a firm handshake still count. (See story, page 15, for some examples of actual, over-the-top faux pas by jobhunters.)

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Experts suggest looking for contacts in Internet chat rooms related to your area of interest (confirm they're legitimate before trading information); writing and rehearsing a 25-word self-introduction; and following up more than once with those who help you.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society