Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chronicles of an IT Job Seeker – Networking 301

When I heard that 70%-80% of all job seekers find jobs through networking it made me wonder why I hadn’t landed a job yet. I’ve known for a long time that relationships make the difference between long-term unemployment and finding a job quickly. I’ve been expanding my social network for years and my contact database has grown to over 10,000 people. I thought that leveraging my network would make finding a job easy. Wrong!

Networking to find a job is more about being at the right place at the right time and for the IT industry, effective networking takes on a whole new dimension. Because of the tight economy, hiring managers can afford to be “picky” so they look for specialized skill sets, relevant experience and recent experience. So the fact that you did a similar job ten years ago simply does not matter.

How can you compete? Networking, Networking, Networking. It’s all about taking networking to the next level!

Networking 101: Traditional networking involves attending networking meetings. When you attend meetings you get to meet people for the first time. You get their card. You give them your card and that’s where the relationship begins. This is where you plant the seeds for harvesting many months from now. This includes meeting people via a conference call too.

Networking 201: The next level is to connect online. I use LinkedIn for professional networking and I’m a member of many other online communities too. By engaging in dialogue online, you get to see and to be seen which is ever so important when it comes to leveraging your professional network for job hunting. To find your dream job in this tough economy, you need a ton of people looking out for you and helping you tap into the hidden job market. Networking with folks online is essential.

Networking 301: One-on-one “informational” meetings with decision makers takes networking to a whole new level. Let’s face it. The person you are trying to meet is the person who has the job you want and is willing to give it to you. This person is the “hiring manager”, but to get to the hiring manager, you’re going to have to connect with a lot of other people first. Here’s what the experts say.

The average search by the average candidate requires conversations with 25 Decision Makers. The Decision Maker is your next boss, or your boss’s boss.

-- Orville Pierson, The unwritten rules of the highly effective job search

The Unwritten Rules of Highly Effective Job Search tells you how to plan and organize the entire job search in the most effective ways possible. It includes information on making a Project Plan, creating a Core Message, and using Progress Measurements so you can tell how fast you're moving toward a good new job.

Live long and prosper...

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