TAMPA - The first move is to join a professional networking group. Local entrepreneur Aakash Patel started his own called "Leaders Friday Luncheon."
"We said let's get together and continue to find out who the next generation of leaders are. So the first Friday of the month, myself and three other young professionals invite a community leader and we all meet and just talk about what's going on in Tampa Bay," he said.
Patel moved here six years ago, started his own company called Elevate, Inc. ( www.elevate-inc.com ) and was named one of the Tampa Bay Business Journal's "Up and Comers Under 30."
We sat down to talk about another way to get back in the job hunt and that's connecting online. "If I give my business card to someone, I'll always find their Facebook company page, add them to LinkedIn, send them a Twitter follow-up, make sure I follow them," explained Patel.
Number three on the list is leveraging your personal network -- not just your close friends, but their contacts too.
Lisa Jacobson runs her own human resources consulting group, www.workplacesolutionstampa.com
"Ask most people how they got their job and they'll say, that they got the job through a friend of a friend," she said.
That contact could work in your industry or be someone who knows about a job opening.
The fourth move is to meet contacts face-to-face. When you apply online, Jacobson says you only have about a 15-percent chance of landing the job.
Finally, the fifth move you can make is to take any job, even if it's not the one you want. Or you can volunteer your time for a non-profit.
"You meet people while you're doing that work and you start chatting and they get to know you on a different level," said Jacobson.
"Don't get frustrated. Please don't leave Tampa. We want you here because it's a great city and place where you really can make a difference," said Patel.