Often I come across people who like to jobhunt with anonymity… from the shelter/privacy of staring at their own computer screen. Let’s face it: today it is really easy to spend all one’s waking hours just scanning all the job boards, corporate websites, and the like for available positions… and then sending a single, non-tweeked resume to everything that looks like it is remotely interesting. “I could do that,” seems a common refrain.
Sure… you probably can do “that” – whatever “that” is. But with unemployment still hovering around 10%, there are lots and lots of other people who “could” do that. And probably hundreds of those people are submitting their resumes for the same “could do” job.
From the employer’s point of view, it’s easy to run an ad on Monster or wherever and accumulate lots of resumes in their ATS (applicant tracking system). Maybe one of them will turn out to be from the next hire. That means that for everyone else, it’s a “no go”. As friendly as they might seem to the jobhunter, Job boards are always stacked in favor of the employer, as their chance of finding talent is always larger that the jobhunter’s chances of being hired for any particular position!
The simple fact of the matter was, is, and likely will remain: your odds of getting hired are always better if you can network your way into a position. Relatively few of us are “born networkers”… but it is a skill well worth cultivating!
Where to network? A couple of my own examples:
Tonight I’ll be attending a Professional Networking Open House at Temple Emanuel in Andover, MA. It is free (a price everyone can afford!!), and open to the public. You need not be a member of the Temple, or even Jewish to attend. Really! The speaker will be talking about “Tips and Techniques for an effective Job Search”, and I’ll report back to you here about what I learn.
Tomorrow I’ll be networking at an alumni event sponsored by my undergraduate college, the University of Vermont. It will feature a history professor talking about a topic I find fascinating, but even more important it will allow me to interact with people I probably don’t know and broaden my own personal network. Maybe I’ll get a few more contacts for my LinkedIn social network… or, perhaps I’ll meet someone whom I can help by offering a free critique of their resume, and I might even be found by someone who would be potentially interested in my services.
I’m always seeking to enlarge my network, both “real” and “virtual”. It’s a way I can help others, and hopefully, a way to be found by them as well. It’s the old saying: give to get!