Last week was my first week looking for work. As it turned out the job search didn't really happen – my daughter was in and out of hospital so (thankfully) I was around to look after her brothers (she's recovering now).

I did manage to get a few other things achieved:

The reason I give the score 1-0 to networking is that my meeting with Giles was very useful for me – he shared a lot of his experience and was encouraging. The recruitment consultant, on the other hand, just sent me a stock reply email.

Thank you for your interest in the above position. Unfortunately, I have received applications from candidates whose experience more closely match my client's specific requirements. I will not, therefore, be progressing your application on this occasion.

There was no other contact. Made me realise I am going to have to work hard to get the attention of recruitment consultants.

If I have to spend as much time networking with them as with potential employers, I am minded to try and get to the employer whenever I can. Or maybe I will end up talking to the likes of Mervyn, whose post for me filled me with more confidence in what some consultants will be able to do for me in my job search.

One thing rings true – my outplacement consultant said my next role would more than likely come from networking. If my first bit of networking is anything to go by then then I think she could be right.

This point is backed up by Mervyn:

I believe that 2011 will be a year of who you know as companies supplement direct sourcing with a strong referral approach. Networking, engaging and conversing through social platforms, and leveraging those relationships, will give you a good chance of getting in front of the right people.

My other job search posts.