One of my favorite job-search strategies is talking about WHERE you can find networking leads. Sure, everyone knows they should be networking… but if you’ve neglected to keep your circle “warm,” then what should you do?

Professional associations and user conferences are a great place to start, since you’ll be tapping into others whose industry interests match yours, plus most people you meet there will likely be employed.

If you’ve been to a job search networking event and felt dragged down by all the unemployment stories, you know what I mean: this is a huge plus. Of course, it goes without saying that people who are working now are more likely to refer you for a new job at their company–rather than compete with you for that perfect position.

Remember to hang out where your target audience does… meaning that trade shows or industry events can be a good source of leads.

To meet someone who is hiring at your level, think like they do. What do they read? What interests them? For an aspiring IT Director, for example, this might be trade events that attract CIOs. For a technical sales executive, this could be a vendor conference.

These strategies can help spark ideas on where to network… and what kind of resources you can tap for a leadership job hunt.