Are you disappointed to read that this is the case? Many of my clients tell me that this is the aspect of the job search they least enjoy. The prevalence of the online job search may even make you think that you don’t need to do this any more. Let me assure you, not only is networking NOT dead, it is more essential than ever.
Responding to online job postings should only constitute 20% of your job search. Liz Ryan, one of the best thought leaders on career advice out there, posts regularly on www.forbes.com about how to avoid sending your resume into a “black hole.” Networking is a strategy for assuring that even if your resume passes the six second test, you can get to the next step with a phone or face to face interview.
LinkedIn has changed how the networking game is played, to some degree. It is a tool that can help you, because if a person has gone to the trouble to create a profile on a business networking site, they expect to be contacted for business networking. Just make sure you follow appropriate business etiquette when you reach out to a contact, or ask for an introduction.
All networking need not take place face to face. it is perfectly acceptable to reach out to someone on LInkedIn who works at an organization you would like to be a part of, and ask for wisdom. Wisdom seeking can also take place over the phone, and many of us still enjoy the face to face cup of coffee. I try to have at least one face to face networking session per week. I’ll gladly meet with wisdom seekers, since so many friends and colleagues have shared advice with me over the years I enjoy “paying it forward.”
Stay tuned for more strategies for networking and keeping your resume out of the “black hole” – especially if this is something that doesn’t come easily for you. I’ll be sharing tips that will help you get comfortable with this essential skill.