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The Key to Networking

I was reminded the other day of a comment I made at a  speech I delivered following the Tech-Wreck crash in 2000, “the key to networking is to find people you can network with.” Fortunately, for those of us who are terminally shy the Internet has made it possible to network from our computer keyboard and avoid those awkward mixers most people associate with networking events. There are many of online networking sites now to facilitate networking. All of the sites are based on the “six degrees of separation” principle which recognizes the actor Kevin Bacon as the center of humanity. Each site has slight variations on how you build and grow your network.  The following are the leading sites for job hunters who want to e-network their way to success.

Linkedin.com From a head-hunter’s standpoint, LinkedIn has it all. From a job-hunter’s standpoint LinkedIn represents an opportunity of a lifetime to establish a powerful network of influential colleagues and friends, Linkedin.com {www.linkedin.com} is my favorite. You can open a linked in account for free. It works by first requiring you to set up your on-line profile and then invite your friends to join your network. After people join they ask their friends and colleagues to join. For job-hunters this is a treasure trove of leads.  For recruiters it’s one of the 1st places we all start searches.  Like ZoomInfo, if you can’t be found on LinkedIn

 

you probably don’t exist … or at least you’ve got an up hill battle trying to be recognized.

Classmates – The grand daddy online community-based networking is Classmates. Using Classmates is closer to traditional networking because it’s based on your alumni. At Classmates you can join a network of people you went to school with [high school, college or university] as well as military, industry or company alumni. The challenge with using it to source contacts is that you need to search by state. On the other hand if you want to reach out to people you went to school with to reconnect then Classmates is the way to go.

Here are two other online networking sites which all have unique benefits too numerous to mention here. You should choose at least two on-line networking sites and be as aggressive [staying within the rules of the site] and as creative with it as you can.

Ryze – is a classic. Easy to use and robust. It’s for connecting online and in person because it likely has a real life networking component in your town. The best of both worlds really.

Spoke – great tool for connecting with the Fortune 1000 in particular and sales people of all types. Sales people by-the-way are great resources for job hunters – they’re natural helpful and often talkative. They boast over 30 million people and 900,000 companies.

Your network will grow as quickly as you can recruit members who can then recruit other members. Your ability to eNetwork your way to a new job grows exponentially as your network develops. For all the latest on social networking you should follow what else? The Social Networking Web Log.– which just happens to be loaded with insider tips on reaching inside the companies you want.

Compliments of David E Perry and Kevin Donlin. For more creative job search tactics, go to the Guerrilla Marketing for job hunters blog and download the free audio CD.

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