The 4 Do’s and Don’ts of Networking

Are you networking?    Some people are, but EVERYONE should be.    While networking this past month or so, I have run across some Do’s and Don’ts that I think everyone should follow.   

DO

  1. Keep in touch with industry leaders  (Nationally and Locally)
  2. Have coffee or lunch with industry leaders, co-workers and even competitors at least once a quarter.
  3. Pay it Forward
  4. Use social media to stay up to date on your industry and their trends.  Make sure your online profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and About.me) are filled out 100% with details describing who you are and what you do.

DON’T

  1. Ask someone to lunch or a coffee, to pick their brain, to ask for advice and then make them pay.   If you ask for the meeting, you should pay.
  2. Take, take, take and never give.
  3. Send a generic invite to connect on social media – Personalize each one.
  4. Be concerned with only your agenda.  Always ask how you can help them.

Recruiters offer HOPE…

Recruiters need to remember the one thing they offer candidates, is HOPE.  I recently participated and presented at the Scioto Ridge Job Networking Group, Tuesday Tune-up.  I was there to help Job Seekers search for work using social networking, using internet tools and to give tips and suggestions.   One of the main points and discussions was on, how to work with a Recruiter.  I had many conversations, with different individuals – all looking for one thing – HOPE.

The next candidate you talk to – even if they are not a fit for your opening or company – Remember you are still able to give them the HOPE they need to help find work, in this economy.  Maybe it is a hint on how to improve their resume, an interview tip, an internet site that may help their search, a networking group – or any bit of information that may help them.  Take a minute with each candidate this week, this month or longer and give them HOPE.

The Power of Networking

Why don’t more people NetworkIt boggles my mind, especially in this type of economy – it is not who applies to the job first, BUT who you know and who knows you.    Everyone should get to know their local Recruiters.   You never know when you may need one.

Networking is simple.  It is staying in touch.  It is asking questions to the experts and answering questions.  Most people I have found and was able to hire for my openings, were not from my first conversation but from staying in contact with them and talking to them over time.  Networking is a time commitment – IT IS A RECRUITING COMMITMENT!

An easy way to get started is to first, go to LinkedIn and find groups, in your geographic area or specialty and join them.  Become involved with the local and industry leaders.  If a group does not exist – create one.  Not only have I created the Recruiter Files LinkedIn Group, but I have joined many industry groups (#Hire Friday and ere.net). Plus I have joined some local groups (Linkedworking Columbus and Network Pittsburgh).   LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups at a time.

Network in your community and your industry – see who you can meet.   Also, review the Social Networking’s Guide for Finding Employment.

Social Networking’s Guide to Finding Employment

Social MediaWith the unemployment rates at an all time high, it is essential, now more than ever, to tap into alternative ways of getting noticed—and getting hired. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have relied mainly on the job boards for their pool of resumes. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, Dice.com, and many others are over-flowing with resumes from every industry and educational level. With such a large pool of competition, how can anyone become noticed?

Many recruiters rely on a well-crafted Boolean search string and wait for the website to spit out a handful of resumes that match their job description. But this method can only give recruiters a list of skills, completely overlooking the essence of who these job seekers really are. Most job seekers do not understand the processes recruiters use to find talented professionals, and as a result, become overlooked. The use of social networking creates a new layer for job seekers. The power of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are drawing attention. There are millions of users on these sites. This is no longer a want-ad kind of world—this is a world of cut throat competition based on who you know and who you impress. Social networking can bridge the gap between a nameless resume to a memorable meeting with executives and recruiters ready to put you to work.

LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward professionals. This site has over 135 million members with the majority over the age of 25 making an annual income in the six figure range. LinkedIn members are serious about their professions by linking up with other professionals in and out of their industries. LinkedIn members conduct themselves in a more professional matter than members of Facebook which is geared more towards casual contact. LinkedIn also comes up in the top 5% of all Google.com searches. It is a key site to present your best professional face to the working world. Connecting with co-workers and friends on LinkedIn is appropriate; however, the key is to not limit yourself to those you know. By expanding your LinkedIn connections, there are more opportunities to network with professionals working in companies you might be interested in. Also, joining LinkedIn groups can give you an inside view of company news.

LinkedIn is not the only social networking site that can help land jobs. Facebook and Twitter also have a huge web presence. Many potential employers scan your Twitter feeds and Facebook posts in an effort to get to know you. Updating your statuses to reflect that you are job hunting will get attention. People are more than resumes and companies recognize that. In fact, recently a company posted an advertisement for an investment analyst but instead of receiving traditional resumes, job seekers were asked to provide their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook links along with a video message as to why these candidates wanted this job. They are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think. By utilizing social media, hiring companies can get a better feel for potential hires and avoid the jungle of faceless resumes.

If you are still not convinced that social media can help you land a job, try these statistics on for size. For every six people, one gets hired using social media. Over half of job seekers use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find jobs. When polled 18,400,000 people say that Facebook got them a job, 8,000,000 give Twitter credit for their jobs, and 10,200,000 people credit LinkedIn with their current positions. And remember, the average LinkedIn user makes over $100,000 in annual income. Do I have your attention?

So, how exactly do sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you network and land a great job? First, it is common knowledge that having an inside contact is incredibly beneficial for finding a great job. That’s how I got my current job, but not everyone has a second cousin or friend of a friend that can give inside information or push your resume to the top of the stack. This is where savvy networking can educate you and bring attention to your profile with the big bosses. For instance, searching LinkedIn for company employees can bring you to the person that might end up interviewing you. This is the time to send a private message to connect—only. Pushing your resume during this first contact is ineffective and will most likely get you nowhere. Begin by asking questions about his or her job and develop a relationship. Your contact will be more likely to endorse you if you begin this way—trust me. Also, use groups to connect with people. You will most likely link up with someone in the same group verses going straight for the HR person who will delete your Inmail. And don’t stop there, find out about the person doing the interviewing. Pointing out commonalities goes a long way in relationship building and elbow rubbing.

Using social media has its advantages for getting you noticed. Millions of members take part in professional websites. It is a bridge that fills the gap between an anonymous resume and your professional presence. Recruiters and hiring managers alike troll these sites for potential hires. Introduce yourself and you will get that virtual handshake—that’s a promise.