Networking for a New Job

By | Feb 6, 2009

As I said in Part 3 of my Laid Off series, times are hard right now.  Fewer and fewer job notices are being posted, with more and more competition for each one.  This means you may need to get creative in your job search.  Start brushing off your networking skills and start making contacts.  Remember, some of the best jobs never get posted outside the company.  So, where to start your networking?

Friends, Family, & Coworkers

Seriously, some of your best opportunities may come from folks you already know.  Send out an e-mail to everyone you know.  Make a list of all your family, friends, coworkers, former-coworkers, former bosses, neighbors, people you’ve volunteered or sat on a committee with, people you’ve met at the dog park–well–you get my meaning.  Send each e-mail individually and personalize each one.  That doesn’t mean you can’t cut and paste the bulk of the message, but people will be more likely to respond if the message seems personal.  Let them know you’re out of work and what you’re looking for.

As you move through your days, mention your job search to everyone you talk to.  Don’t belabor the point, but just mention that you’re looking for work and ask them to let you know if they hear of anything coming up.  You’d be surprised how often a casual conversation can lead to something.  I got a job once early in my career by chatting with someone in the grocery line.  Turned out she was leaving her job and her boss needed to hire a new assistant.  She put in a good word for me, and I got the job.

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Clubs and Organizations

This isn’t the time to retire from public life.  Attend every club and organization meeting you know of and don’t forget to mingle, mingle, mingle while you’re there, mentioning in passing, of course, that you’re looking for work.  Now, if you’re like me and a very far cry from a social butterfly, this can seem quite daunting.  But it can help you get your foot in doors that you might not otherwise.

Online Networking

These days, as much networking can be done on-line as face to face.  More sometimes.  The advent of Social Media has revolutionized the way people Network.  There are a number of social networking sites out there.  Here are some of the ones I recommend:

  • LinkedIn — LinkedIn is a great professional networking tool. Find other people you know on LinkedIn, and add them to your network. You can request references, join groups, and generally get your name out for people to see.
  • Twitter — Twitter can also be an awesome networking tool.  Once you join, be sure and fill out your profile and bio, and then start looking for people to follow.  I recommend twellow.com for finding people to follow.  Follow people in your locality, in your industry, who have similar hobbies and beliefs, whatever you enjoy.  And then start interacting.  Reply to what others say, share what you’re reading on the web, get to know people.  And here and there, maybe once a day, mention that you’re looking for work.  Link your resume.  You’d be surprised how far things can get retweeted.  You can add me if you want.  I’m Jodith on Twitter.
  • FaceBook — I’m not a huge FaceBook fan, but I know many, many people who love FaceBook as much as I do Twitter.  Again, once you join, look for people you know to friend.  Through them, friend others.  Friend people in your area and/or your industry.  Link your resume. 

Remember, whatever social networking platforms you choose, be sure to stay active.  You need to build relationships and get to know people.

On-line Job Boards

While you’re on-line, don’t forget to submit your resume to job boards like Monster and Career Builder.  It may not help, but it sure can’t hurt.  It never did anything for me before when job hunting–until this job.  I got a call out of the blue from a headhunter who found my resume on Career Builder.  So you really never can tell where your next job will come from.

Have a Good Support Network

Outside of the job hunt, it’s nice to have a good support network as well.  It’s a hard time when you’ve been laid off.  Even if you know intellectually that it wasn’t your fault, it’s still easy to doubt yourself.  Find a good support network of others in the same situation.  Help each other out and just have people you can talk to who are going through the same thing.  It can really help keep your spirits up while you look for work.

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6 Comments so far
  1. Niche Marketing (1 comments) February 6, 2009 3:40 pm

    Glad I found this site – I’m finding the content very useful – thanks!

  2. h.r.m. queen of the universe (1 comments) February 6, 2009 5:42 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I agree about the keep busy if you don’t have any work to do. I’m a dental hygienist, and even our field is getting slow right now. If people loose their jobs and insurance, they don’t go to the dentist unless they are in great pain. But my boss has said to other people in the office that he is happy with the way I find things to do when we are slow (ie, clean the bathrooms, straighten the magizines, reading books to kids in the waiting room etc.)

  3. Jodith (189 comments) February 10, 2009 10:29 am

    Hi, there, I love your blog! Don’t comment that much, but I’ve got it subscribed in my Google reader.

    Yes, bosses notice if employees go beyond the job description. In times like these, you have to take advantage of every little thing to keep you job.

  4. jane@Frisco Tx Homes For Sale (1 comments) May 8, 2009 2:23 pm

    Here in Dallas we have a gathering once a week down in Dallas. It is very cool, where the breakdown each group by field. So, sales go to sale, and finance to finance, and so on. They bring in Resume experts and other people looking for highly motivated people. I have used it before to recruit, but not many realtors show up. I would look for something like this.

  5. BGT@Beginners Golf Tips (2 comments) June 29, 2010 11:19 am

    There are great ideas here. Networking can also provide a helpful way in finding for a new job, be it online; from other sources such as networking sites, or from the people we already know who are using social media as well. Thanks Jodith, two thumbs up!:-)

  6. Per H. Jørgensen (1 comments) January 12, 2011 12:12 am

    I agree that Linkedin is a great tool to keep in contact with interesting contacts. And it opens for the situation, where a person you know, recommends you to some of his contacts – which is more or less the best starting point for a discussion on employment opportunities.

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