Personal Networking — The Key To Finding A Job.
A survey conducted jointly by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Careerjournal.com (2001) found that the most popular way to find jobs (for job-seekers) or employees (for employers seeking candidates for positions) was through networking. It's frequently called "tapping into the hidden job market."
To understand more about networking and why it is so crucial to the job-seeker, read:
- Networking Your Way to a New Job (Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Quintessential Careers)
- Networking (LDS Church: Provident Living)
- Networking and Your Job Search (The Riley Guide)
How Do You Get Started?
If you have not already, go to LinkedIn and create a profile to start networking online.
Clarify your goals. Write a brief summary of your abilities, interests and values. Polish and then review your resume. Now, prepare a "20-30 second sound bite" to introduce yourself and your purpose to those with whom you will network. It's up to you to orient them to your specific skills and experiences relative to the type(s) of jobs you seek.
Things You Might Want to Include in Your 20-30 Second Sound Bite:
My name is____________.
I am ____________.
Year in School
What are you looking for?
Work in some industry, contacts in a geographical area
What can you offer?
Special skills, knowledge, degrees, accomplishments, experience
I am ____________.
I have ____________.
What traits do you have that set you apart from others?
Sample Questions for Your Networking Conversation:
What can you tell me about ____________?
Who do you know that ____________?
What recommendations do you have for ____________?
Where would you look for ____________?
Review the following information about making contacts and building relationships:
The Law of 250 (CollegeGrad.com)
You may also want to consider printing personal business cards. Using cards is an important part of the networking process. Randall Hansen shares advice on preparing the cards, Networking Business Cards: An Essential Job-Search Tool for Career Changers and College Students When a Resume Just Won't Do.
In her article, Breaking the Myths about Career Networking, Sherri Edwards gives these tips for effective networking: (1) Ask questions and listen to the speaker, (2) Identify his or her concerns or interests, (3) Offer solutions or connections, (4) Immediately follow-up with the person by email or by phone, (5) Stay in touch!. She also recommends copying your referral source on any correspondence between you and the new contact. Don't forget about thank-you notes to the contact and the referral source. Stay in touch with the contact. Occasionally send them an article that may be of interest or information on a great new book you want to recommend to them. Keep them updated on your progress.
Additional Tools and Resources
- Network Intelligence Gathering (CollegeGrad.com)
- Seven Smart Career Networking Moves Guaranteed to Make You More Memorable (Susan Britton Whitcomb for QuintCareers.com)
- Networking Helps (pdf)
Social Networks & Your Online Presence
Join the world's largest professional network LinkedIn. For Tips and advice on how to make your LinkedIn profile shine check out the videos at byuh.jibberjobber.com.
JibberJobber is your Personal Relationship Manager for your career. Just as a salesperson would use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) system, like Salesforce.com or Goldmine or ACT!, to keep track of their sales leads, JibberJobber helps you keep track of your job search, networking contacts and other career management information.
Create an account by going to byuh.jibberjobber.com and signing up using your byuh.edu email address.
According to Katherine Hansen in Informational Interviewing: A Powerful Tool for College Students, this is one of the best ways for college students to network. To learn more about information interviews, click here.
In our high-tech world, online networking has become increasingly popular. In the context of career exploration and job search, professional networking sites are probably the most desirable. There are numerous available resources, including LinkedIn, Ziggs, Zoomerang and others. Review the QuintCareers tutorial for online networking, Internet Career Networking Tutorial for Job Seekers: A Guide to Getting Connected Online.
If you use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or others, keep in mind that employers may also check out your postings there. Be careful what you post to sites. It may do you more harm than good. Review these recent articles for more information.
- For Some, Online Persona Undermines a Resume (Alan Finder, New York Times)
- Social-Networking Sites Catch the Eye of Employers (Jessica Mintz, CareerJournal.com from The Wall Street Journal Online)
- Career and Social Networking (About.com, Job Search)