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Networking November 3, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
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We hear alot about networking. We hear that it is the best way to land a job these days. We hear that we already have a few networks to call upon as soon as we are laid off.

What is a network?

A network is a group of people with whom you have a relationship with. This relationship could be family and friends. People in your community, banker, dentist, doctor, grocer, etc. They can be former classmates from school. They can be former workers.  These are people who have formed some type of bond, someone you might trust, someone you have a reputation with.

In these bad economic times your ready network isn’t enough. You need to expand your network. Which brings up 2 schools of thought.

School 1: Build your network as big as you can. Network with everyone. Using LinkedIn you can become a LION or Open networker and accept all invites. But what kind of relationship can you establish with 500+ people? How well will they know you and keep you on their mind in order to help you?

School 2: Networking is about building good relationships. Keep the number of people to a number that you can work with. Keep it to people you trust or will do business with.

It is the battle of quantity vs quality.               I like quality myself.

So I am out of work so where can I go to build a network. Well here in Massachusetts I go to a group called WIND. It is an organization for unemployed professionals. There are job clubs and other networking organizations out there.  There are Chambers of Commerce, Professional organizations meetings, seminars, lectures, trade shows, career fairs and sporting events. You have to be able to network anywhere

Networking can be used for various reasons: building business, increasing customer base, getting information on a company, getting information on an industry, getting information on a specific position if you are changing industries and are wondering if you have the right skill set.


Again networking is about building relationships!!!

So I find a company that I want to work for and they have a position open for me what do I do?

If the company wants you to submit your resume online then do so. If you are working with a recruiter let them know you are submitting to that company (they might be able to help you get in faster and better than you can),  use your existing network and LinkedIn to find people who work at this company.

Find out what you can about the contact person. What is there position in the company? Do they work in the department you are applying for?  This will help set up how you are going to network with this person.

Set up a meeting for 15 -20 minutes for coffee. Ask them about the company , the work atmosphere, how long have they worked there, do they like working there, why or why not. Towards the end of the meeting you can ask for 2 more contacts that are in the department or know people in that department.  Repeat the first steps until you get connected with someone in that department. Then  ask who the hiring manager is and see if you can set up a meeting with them.

Again there are 2 schools of thought to this process:

School 1: Give your resume and ask for the job. Be prepared to tell why your the best candidate. Be prepared to fail.

School 2: Never ask for the job or give your resume. You can voice your desire to work for them ( not the same as out right asking) and have your resume with you to offer if asked. Of course if a job is offered you should take it.

Your method will be based on what you think will work for you and how much effort you want to put into landing a job.

Of course the method you choose will speak volumes about your character.

For New Englanders: If you are a member of the last Monday of the month CBS Scene networking group. Be sure to say hi.

I am attending a networking meeting in Newport RI Tuesday night called Building Bridges Through Networking for the first time.  I am looking forward to it.  Yes I am bringing plenty of business cards with me.

An added note to the readers:

I am open minded about networking. However if I do not see a mutual benefit in our relationship do not feel slighted if I do not add you to my business network. If there is a way that I can still help you I will as I believe in pay it forward. But I will not accept a LinkedIn connection.


1. ininguige - November 26, 2009

Lots of folks talk about this subject but you said some true words.

jvmullin - December 8, 2009

Thank you for your comment I appreciate it. If you find it helpful please share it with others.

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