Things have conspired this week to bring me this article.
Last week, I spoke with two clients who landed new roles based upon their network. Then I received my copy of Businessweek and read a story about how grads find jobs primarily through their networks.
Most people tend to think of their network in the context of people they work with and, technically, one of the people did find their new position that way–through a vendor. The vendor was someone who had successfully sold business to his firm and, sensing his unhappiness, asked if he was open to something else. Several months of interviewing later, a new position was offered.
The second person found work though someone they went to college with 25 years before and had barely seen since! Yet that was the stepping stone to a new position.
Businessweek points out that information about available jobs remains very limited and that if we rely purely upon job listings you are only learning about a small subset of available jobs just like in the days when newspapers ruled the roost for job listings.
“Acquaintances (weak ties) have networks that go beyond a job seeker’s immediate circle (strong ties) Yet the acquaintances know the applicant well enough to vouch for their character.” Such introductions are often far more effective than shooting resumes into the black hole of applicant tracking systems.
So rather than only answering ads and talking to friends and other members of your immediate circle, stretch yourself and start reaching out to people who in a million years you would never have thought of connecting with.
It may pay off for you just like it did for my clients.
© 2012 all rights reserved.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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