Is Job Search Networking A Luxury?

by: Joanne Meehl

A member of our Face2Face Job Search Networking Group for Professionals emailed me to say she couldn't attend the next meeting, and probably could not attend any others, "because I don't have the luxury of time to do networking...I have to get a job, something, anything."

That is among the most painful things this job search coach can hear. Because it's exactly networking that WILL result in a job, a good job. Responding to postings results in huge numbers working against you. When you respond to a posting, they don't know you from Adam and your resume has to fit exactly, so your chances for an interview drop significantly. But when you are introduced by an employee at a target company to the hiring manager as someone s/he needs to talk to, you are now stamped "pre-approved" and you get the interview, like magic. Sure, you now have to do well in the interview...but at least you are in the running instead of lost in a database.

Sure, I urge job hunters to not only network but also to approach hiring managers directly, to answer ads, to work with recruiters. All of those things work at some point with some people. They each have their own timeline so it's best to have a mix; networking can take time. I'll encourage any legal and ethical activity that results in a good hire for both sides.

But when I look at my clients who've landed good, new jobs, and those in the networking group who have landed good jobs, and I do the statistics, over the last two years only ONE of my dozens of clients who have landed has done it by answering an ad then interviewing and getting an offer. And only a half-dozen of the 500+ person networking group (about 75 at each meeting) have landed the postings-response-then-interview way. All others either 1) "networked their way in" to their target companies, or 2) responded to a posting AND networked their way to the hiring manager. ALL others. And I see the same thing in other parts of the country, from what my colleagues report and what those in other networking groups are saying.

Most likely, this networking group member has not done much networking to date in her search, part of the reason she might be at the end of her rope -- and her unemployment money. Another truism about networking: the more networking one does the earlier in their search as possible, the shorter the search.

So this group member, instead, will use her precious job search time to shop her resume door to door, to a lot of rejection and little encouragement...she will call her network contacts again and beg that they remember her "if you hear of anything"...she will hold her nose as she applies for jobs way beneath her. Except the result is likely to be nothing in the way of a new, real job, and instead only the erosion of her dignity, and the fracturing of any remaining confidence. And all the while she'll think something is wrong with her, that she is cursed with "bad luck" or is singled out to pay some kind of penance. All of this is so wrong.

And that's why job search networking is not a luxury: It is the very air that keeps a search, especially in these trying times, alive. And thriving.


The next Face2Face meeting takes place on January 9, 2014 in Minnetonka, Minnesota. ?Topic: New Ways of Work ?- ?Go here for all info -- first-timers are very welcome to join us!


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