Have you ever stopped to really process the various stages of networking? We all go around just assuming that most top-tier jobs are claimed by those with advanced education and experiences or those with the right guy in their list of contacts. If you didn’t go to the right school or grow up in certain circles of influence, then you are just out of luck, right?

Well, wrong. The current job search culture finds us far beyond the previous networking entrapments that were seemingly impossible to breach in the past. At one time, if your family wasn’t a part of the founding board of directors, then you had no chance as a prominent job candidate. Today, however, there are almost limitless ways in which you can strengthen your brand and market yourself. With the internet at your fingertips, you can access the many different angles of your company of choice and try and find common ground with current employees and connected organizations.

The link between you and your next interview could be as simple as a cup of coffee! Setting time aside to tend to the outreach details of your job search is a critical part of the process. Sure, a well-written resume and powerful set of references are still very important but rubbing elbows and chatting casually with someone who is already employed by your preferred company is a powerful move to be made. The more professional contacts that you have within your career field, the better chance you have at approaching a job transition with confidence.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of an impending move or potential job change but remember that every conversation counts. So, if you have any gaps in your calendar this week, make sure to call or email that person that you’ve been meaning to connect with so that any potential for advancing your career will not be passed up!