Job Search – Part 2A – Build Your Network

In my last post I talked about the first phase of recovery after you lose your job. Now, I’m going to discuss the one of the most important things of a job search: Network, Network, Network!

In order to be successful in your job search building your personal And professional network .

  • This network can exist of family, friends,business associates,  acquaintences,  and any others that can help you to find your next assignment/job.
  • Build an On-line network utilizing LinkedIn (professional) and Facebook (Personal/Professional).  For the purposes of this post, I will only talk about LinkedIn.

Remember, that every person you have met and will meet is a potential network contact for you (yes even the individuals you don’t care for)).  So if you can build your network quickly, the quicker you will be back to work. Keep in mind  that networking is known to be the best and most effective way to find a new job. As opposed to sending out resumes without the networking touch!

So let’s start to build your network!

Here’s a step by step way to develop and and maintain your network.

  • Jot down all your network names by category (work, family, friends, and just people you know)
  • Within each category, write down names and emails (and if you have it, their contact numbers). In my opinion, the emails are most important today. You’ll see why later.
  • Create a “new” email using Gmail (my favorite), like this: “xxxx_net99”  (ex. abc_net09) this will be your email that you will use for all your job search and network efforts.  It’s important to include some numbers in your email to reduce SPAM to this box.
  • Now get LinkedIn: Maximze this FREE  professional networking site  to establish an on-line network with your newly created email (“xxxx_net99). When you create the account, you will have the ability to import your emails from the various email accounts you may already have (Gmail, Hotmail, etc..).

Once you have created a profile, allow Linked-In to import and determine many of your pre-existing contacts already have linkedIn accounts (saves you time with data entry). These individuals are your first target for your professional network. You will send out personalized invitations

  • Note: When you create your Linked In, make sure your privacy settings reflect the actual amount of information you wish to divulge about yourself. There are plenty of long time “linkers” as I call them that are constantly patrolling looking to sell you some financial planning or stocks, or just in general annoying invitations. So do due diligence in making sure you only reveal the things about yourself that you want the world to see on linked in.

Now that you are on the premier site for professional networking,  you need to:

  1. Create your Profile
  2. Upload Your Resume (if ready). If not
  3. Start exploring linked in for it’s tremendous networking utilization and job listings.
  4. Start your job search here!

Mastering and utilizing Linked-In itself will take you a few weeks.  In my opinion, this site is the best place to start in your job search. Looking around the site you will be able to join discussions, groups, ask questions, look at company information, and develop a professional network that can be amazing. LinkedIn is your one-stop shop for professional networking.

I started using LinkedIn a few years ago when I lost my job and over 3 years have developed over 430 first level contacts.  You can see my public profile on LinkedIn.

Of course there are other sites on the Web that provide networking for professionals, but I always come back to LinkedIn as my personally preferred networking site.

If you have other professional networking sites that you would like to share,  feel free to leave your comments.


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