Author Byline: CareerAlley
Author Website: http://careeralley.com
“‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
I’ve never really been a big believer of networking as the main job search strategy. In fact, for whatever reason, I’ve always felt that “who you know” plays a very small part in landing a job (despite the statistics). But just last week I helped someone I know get a job by referring them. I actually referred three people over the last few weeks (only one got the job so far), so it got me to thinking. Maybe there is something to this “it’s who you know”. For me, out of the way too many jobs I’ve had over the way too many years I’ve worked, only two jobs were as a result of someone I knew. But in my current job, of the six people I’ve hired over the last 10 months, three have been referred in one form or other. 50%! Lower than the statistics would lead you to believe, but still an impressive number. So you know what? I’ve changed my mind. There is something to this “it’s who you know”. So, what better place to start than my Job Search Marketing Toolkit and the Networking post?
Business Social Networks – The Usual Suspects:
- LinkedIn – According to Wikipedia, LinkedIn is “a business- social networking site founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003 mainly used for professional networking”. This site has become very popular over the last year. At the end of September 2009, the site had 9 million unique visits for the month and by September of this year there were more than 50 million registered users across well over 100 industries. The site allows users to link to colleagues from current and past employers, schools and any other group that may be defined. One of the features I like best is the “degrees of separation”. The site will show you how you may know a third party through an existing connection. Linked has job search functions as well formats which allow you to showcase your background. Clearly the “best in class” from what I’ve seen.
- Meettheboss – This is a brand new site from what I can tell and seems to be focused on Financial Services (a way to differentiate from other sites). One item I do not like is that it forces you to add your company website url as part of the registration. Two issues with this. First, you may not want to advertise the company you work for and second, what happens if your company is small and does not have a website (yes, there are still companies without websites!)? Unlike LinkedIn, there does not seem to be a way to search for people you may know. The interface is nice, but the site looks thin on functionality. I will keep an eye on this site to see how it fairs, but I’m not sure I get it yet.
Networking – Where to Start:
- Riley Guide on Networking – This article from the Riley Guide provides an excellent review of networking. What it is, how to do it and what it isn’t. The article provides a number of additional links on associated topics.
- Successful Job Search Networking – This About.com article provides another view on networking (formal versus informal) as well as a long list of additional resources. The article mentions that 60% of all jobs are filled via networking (I’ve heard as high as 80% as well).
- The Art of Career and Job-Search Networking – Quintcareers also has a page dedicated to networking and they also stress that this is probably the most important part of your search methods. They provide detail on networking on the web, networking groups (like Diversity, Women, Military, etc.) as well as some publications on the topic.
- The Social Network as a Career Safety Net – This NY Times article provides a real-life example of how social networking helped someone find other opportunities. While the current job market environment is likely to make it more difficult than the success of the individual in the article, it does stress the importance of networking.
Other Networking Resources:
- ExecuNet – This is an organization for senior executives which helps them leverage their networks and manage their careers. This is a “member only” organization, so there is a fee based on length of membership. Membership allows users to connect with c-level executives, attend regional networking meetings and meet with recruiters and companies.
- WEDDLE’s Association Directory – Not sure where to start? Weddle provides an online comprehensive list by functional job of professional associations. The site also supplies a wealth of career support such as Tips for Success and a Training Center.
- The Financial Executives Networking Group – FENG, which is free to join but accepts donations to support their work, provides a very robust networking group for Accounting and Finance professionals. They have local chapters in many locations and offer regular meetings based on function (like Asset Management) or Tax. Their regular newsletter provides job leads and information to help in your job search. The group also provides access to Insurance and a wide range of other benefits.
- Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement – (HACE) – This organization provides an outlet for building Latino careers. The organization provides a guidance and support from High School through to the experienced Professional. There is a “Job Seeker” section which allows for resume posting as well as a listing of regional career conferences.
Good luck in your search.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.