Networking for job search is under-rated (and it certainly is not the Psychic Network). For some of us (like me) there is nothing I like less than “bothering” a former co-worker, friend, relative or business associate to let them know that I am out of work &/or looking for a job. There are, of course, many people who don’t have a problem with this.
There are a number of ways you can leverage your network without calling people as the first step (although this is not a bad way to start). Business social networks have been covered in a number of previous posts (quick links are listed below), so I won’t cover that topic again in this post. I will, however, provide some basic Networking concepts and methods. But first some quick links to business social networks:
- Leveraging Social Networks for Career Management
- Who’s Your Daddy? – Leverage Your Job Search Network
- Leveraging Diversity Networks in your Job Search
- Job Leads and Links from Friends – Did You Network Today?
- Okay, you’re Networking, but are you Working your Network?
The first myth of Networking is that you must have a Network of hundred’s of people to have any hope of finding a job (take a look at LinkedIn these days). While the larger your Network the better your chances, it is really the quality of your Network that will improve your job search prospects.
- Seven Networking Myths: Fact or Fiction? – This article, by Robert Half International and posted on Careerbuilder.com covers some of the misconceptions regarding Networking. This is a very helpful article for those of you (like me) who are terrified about Networking. Just read the comment regarding the myth “You need to be an extrovert” and you will see what I mean. There are only 7 and they are relatively short so you should take the time to read it.
You’ve got Networking on your list (everyone tells you that this is a “must do”) and you really do mean to get to it (because you feel like you are missing a trick and you feel guilty), but you just can’t seem to get around to it – read on.
- Top Ten Excuses Why People Don’t Network – This article, on Certified Career Coaches, sounds like the read my mind for the article. This is just about every excuse I can think of (and have thought of). If this sounds familiar, read the article because it turns the excuses into actions for the right way to leverage your Network.
Okay, so now I’ve covered the myths and the excuses, but what about the best practice for Networking? There are plenty of ideas out there, and most of them are good (and some of them are a bit wacky). So now let’s cover the “how to”.
- Successful Job Search Networking – How to Use Job Search Networking to Find a Job – Another article from About.com, gives some helpful advice (as well as the elusive statistic on the percentage of jobs found by networking). Of course the days are gone where the only ways to network were by phone or in person. Email (according to the article) is a perfectly acceptable way to network (excellent, I don’t actually have to speak with anyone). Certainly a worthwhile article to read and it includes additional links to relevant information.
- What is Networking? – One of my personal favorites for advice and resources on job search, the Riley Guide provides this article. It tells you what networking is (and isn’t) as well as how to use the Internet, Netiquette, where to network, making contact and additional links to relevant information (such as Enetworking).
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Good luck in your search,