Networking -- Give, Get in the Back Door, and Get Hired

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Networking - Give, Get in the Back Door, and Get Hired Most people looking for a job will tell you they are networking. And most people are wrong. All you have to do is carry a small notebook around, log how you spend your time during the day, and you’ll likely discover you weren’t networking as much as you thought. Probably not even 25%. Networking is like dieting. Most people on a diet will tell you they don’t snack between meals. And most people are wrong. Just tape a piece of paper to the fridge, write down every morsel you stick in your mouth during the day, and you’ll likely discover you were eating more than you thought. All of which means what, exactly? If your job search is struggling, it probably says more about what you’re doing (and what you’re not) than what the economy or employers are doing. And since most jobs are found via networking, what you do (and what you don’t) when you think you’re networking will largely determine how fast you find work. So here are three ways to improve your networking …. 1) Give to Get “We understand networking intellectually, yet we don’t always do it. When you say ‘networking’ to most people, they think it’s what they do to find a job, but to the most effective networkers, it’s what they do every day,” says Dave Opton, Chairman & Founder of ExecuNet, a networking community for executives. While many folks dread the thought of approaching others, hat-in-hand, to ask for job leads, this is backwards, according to Opton. “People should not feel as if it’s selfish to network. If you go through your day behaving like the person most of us would like to think we are -- happy to help and not looking for something directly in return -- the networking goes easily.” So, what’s the best way to do it? “We have a phrase,” says Opton. “Information is the currency of effective networking.” That means, no matter who you are, you have knowledge or experience that other people don’t. Even your time can be valuable, such as if you volunteer to help someone with a project. Whatever it is, offer it to others. Then watch your networking efforts take off. Tip: To network effectively, give first. The job leads will follow. 2) Try the Back Door With the growth of social networking web sites, it’s never been easier to make contact with people on the inside of companies you want to work for. And those contacts can give you an “inside” advantage when applying for jobs, according to Doug Berg, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at “One way to research a company is to visit Facebook and Linkedin to find out who works there, make contact with those people, and ask them about the company and its culture,” says Berg. About 30% of companies offer referral programs that can pay their employees $1,000 or more to refer new hires, according to Berg. So, if you can forge a relationship with an employee at your target firm, they might help you get hired by referring you through the back door. Tip: Try researching companies through Facebook, MySpace or Linkedin -- you’re likely to somebody somewhere who can help you. Then, to earn referrals to employers, repeat the process from 1) above: give first of your expertise, knowledge, and time. Success (and job interviews) will follow. 3) Make Wishes Come True “Through job postings, online information and network connections, [you should] create a wish list of the companies where you would like to work,” suggests ExecuNet Vice President, Lauryn Franzoni. Once you have specific employers in mind, your network can lead you to the people you need to meet. “The more you know about a company and the problems they face, the better positioned you are to demonstrate how you can help,” says Franzoni. Tip: Help others help you. You absolutely need to know what 20 companies you want to work for. With this “wish list” in hand, it’s a simple matter of finding people you know -- or, more likely, people they know -- at your target companies, and getting referred to a hiring manager there. Kevin Donlin is Creator of Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 11,000 people. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The New York Times, CBS Radio and others.

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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks so much for sharing! When you're networking, it's so important to give first and then think about receiving. Amy - That's a great idea. I think everyone should have a list of at least 10 companies they would love to work for.John - Yep! That's what we call it! When they say it's not what you know but who you know, networking is pressing on the people you know and meeting more people as well.
  •  Larissa M
    Larissa M
    Very specific! Thank you
  • Katherine O
    Katherine O
    Good article, except it is too simplified. How are we supposed to get in contact with the people in these companies? Wouldn't that appear to be professional 'stalking' instead of networking? Please, explain.
  • Mary-Joy P
    Mary-Joy P
    Very insightful! I will definitely be using these tips. Thanks so much!
  •  Rob D
    Rob D
    This is helpful, motivating and specific.Thanks
  • Diane R
    Diane R
    What if I don't want to use Facebook to network? What would be an alternative way of reaching out to employers with my profile? I have not shared it yet, because I'm unsure.
  •  Amy B
    Amy B
    Great information, especially useful is the "wish list" of 20 companies you'd like to work for and network accordingly - I'm making mine now.
  • Jessica L
    Jessica L
    Networking is everything- and though I was doing some of the suggestions mentioned, this really puts a whole new perspective on how I can approach finding a job!
  • helene A
    helene A
    04/26/12You gave interesting informations; however, you did not give advise on how to meet people to network with.
  • Derrik H
    Derrik H
    great ideas for all persons.  I"m posting it to my friends who are looking, and telling them, "don't forget the basics."
  • Rose R
    Rose R
    I agree with your vision on searching for jobs, because sometimes you feel as if you are wasting your energy. Also, I found some of your comments to be funny and true!  
  • Nathalie P
    Nathalie P
    Very interesting and informative. I shall incorporate it in my job search, and pass it on to others who have not yet seen this article.
  • Bubba
    Thanks that's a great anwser!
  • John Carlson
    John Carlson
    As I have gone through all my sites looking for a job, I thought "Let's take a look at all this stuff and see if it helps." If I had either quit a job or got laid off I was always confident that I would land another, usually by asking around. I had a good hunch that this was "networking", but I just wasn't sure. Yep! That's what you call it!  
  • James
    Good information. As competitive as the market place is these daya any advantage can make a difference. Communicating with individuals actually working for an organization of interest can provide the insight to tip the scales in your favor. Thanks.
  • Meheret Habteab
    Meheret Habteab
    The " Networking " feedback was very interesting. I definately will start to use it, most of all the 'Back door' networking.
  • Mr Samo
    Mr Samo
    This is excellent. I really think the idea of 'give first' is something most of us prospecting for employment have never really thought of. Thank you.
  • sonam
    Hi Good Article!!
  • Marie Flynn
    Marie Flynn
    How do you look up a company on facebook?
  • Richard Marcus
    Richard Marcus
    Good information..I will incorporate into my job search!!
  • Frank Karue
    Frank Karue
    Networking for jobs (also known as canvasing for jobs) is corruption.  You are stealing a  job from a more qualified person when you network for a job.  When you get the job it is a hand-out from the person who did you the favor. The end result is mis-managed organizations with the following consequences: collapsed firms that leave many unemployed, poor customer service, poor products/services, increased security risks, a collapsed economy, etc.  Networking for jobs is one of the main reasons why the economy of the USA has collapsed and a major reason why many organizations in the USA are not functioning efficiently.  Many employees today are spending time networking, scheming and back-biting each other to get ahead as the organizations collapse.  The person/people who should have got the job in a transparent and fair selection processes may have been the person/people who would have saved the currently collapsing organizations from collapsing!  It could have been these person/people who averted a security risk at an organization in-charge of security, but since they were not in the right networks, they did not get the job, and instead a less skilled and able person with the right connections got the job leading to the many problems currently facing the USA.  Networking for jobs is un-ethical and wrong and all those participating and advocating it know it.  Things will continue to get worse as long as it continues.  
  • Robert Schlechter
    Robert Schlechter
    I need to get better at networking and this article provides great help in doing so.
  • Han tian Chen
    Han tian Chen
    very good!I think so.
  • Jacintha
    Good stuff!
  • Cheryl Lewis-DiGian
    Cheryl Lewis-DiGian
    Great article!

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