Why network? It is the most powerful way to build professional relationships, actively foster contacts and disseminate information.
The YCC provides oppertunities for social and professional networking and other online discussion groups and boards. On-line networking or even hosting your own blog or web page can also be important networking techniques.
Good luck and happy networking!
The Secret Handshake : Why Networking Is Vital
By: Dakotta J.K. Alex. Original article posted ERE blog net April 5, 2007.
The old maxim, "It's not what you know, but who you know," really is a good way to sum up the importance and relevance of networking in the life of the job-seeker. Thus, it would not be a stretch to say that networking is the most important activity for a job-seeker to get a handle on to achieve success while searching for a job.
You may have already realized during your job search exploits that there are more jobs available than are listed in your local paper. This is because a majority of job openings are simply never advertised. They are held back by the business owners or left up to the job-seeker to take the initiative and contact the HR department or some other internal contact. Other times, the one who may have a position open is keeping the position for just the right candidate and doesn't want to deal with dozen of applicants who simply do not have the qualifications. But what if you do have experience or qualifications that this job requires? Perhaps, someone you know may have heard about this position.
Let's put it another way. The actual percentage of jobs that are openly advertised is between five and twenty-five percent. This means that there are scores of unadvertised openings that can be discovered only through talking to as many people as possible and letting them know that you're currently looking for employment. Since you may know "someone who knows someone" you could be a better position than those who limit themselves to ads in the classified section.
The relationships that you build through networking can help you in a number of ways: 1) those in your network may have information about hidden employment opportunities; 2) you may have contacts that can help while researching your career plans; 3) you can be inspired and motivated by some of great personal contacts you've made; 4) if your contact works for a company you have an interest in, you could gain valuable inside information regarding in-house opportunities that have not be released to the public yet.
According to U.S. Labor of Statistics, around 85 percent of those seeking jobs successfully find what they're looking for due to networking and direct contact with business they chose. Approximately 60 percent of all jobs are actually found by job networking. The Wall Street Journal has reported figures as high as 95 percent of the total amount.
A network of professional and personal contacts that can provide support, information, and job leads provides a powerful edge for any job seeker. But a question remains: Should a job seeker concentrate more about the quality of his network or the quantity of those who make up the network?
Quality Vs. Quantity
Should you keep your network small and made up of quality professional and personal connections, or go for a larger number of contacts who are relevant to your search efforts but may or may not be what you would consider quality contacts? In other words, should pay more attention to the quantity or quality of your networking relationships? If you're unsure, let me cut through the uncertainty. The fact is, you should really do your best to develop both aspects of your network, but doing this is far from simple. Time is the key factor here. You must have time to both build and more importantly maintain those relationships; to make them quality contacts takes even more time. Unfortunately, most of us only have so many hours in a day to devote to this. Therefore, one aspect or the other may suffer for it.
Under natural time constraints, we all understand that there can never be an exact balance of quality and quantity but this does not mean you should not strive for the balance. It is true that the more people you know, the less you will be able to get to know them.
So how can you find a clear balance of quality connections with highly relevant people and maximizing the number of people in your network? Everyone has different requirements when networking. In order to make the most of your efforts, you need to find out what sort of relationship quality will be enough to accomplish your job-seeking goals. Then you can then build the numbers based upon this information. Of course, there is no one right solution all the time. Your specific needs will have to be revised when the context changes. Any strategies that you find help you build those stronger, quality relationships and reach out to more people should be time-sensitive, allowing for the constraints of your schedule.
Quality Network - Though it may be obvious by now what a quality network is, it will be good to go over a few more points. A purely quality-based network will be small and limited in scope. Many people have networks made up of close friends, family members, and occasionally old acquaintances. Your time and attention is fixed upon maintaining these intimate relationships and using them to gather information about opportunities. Even if your quality network is made up of business contacts, they will be those that you've invested considerable time in, cultivating them into strong relationships.
Even if you started a relationship as a chance meeting with an executive at a social function; you have not left it there. You've worked to make them much more. By focusing on the quality of your networking contacts you have sacrificed the range that larger numbers could afford you. For some, this is preferable because it is easier to manage a smaller list of contacts.
Quantity Network - Creating a network that is based on numbers involves the extension of your contacts. A primary way that you can do this is to ask those who are already in your network if they know other people that may have relevant information that you can use on the job hunt. This works on both the personal and professional levels. Not only can you ask your friend or neighbor if they might know somebody, but you can ask co-workers as well. That's right; you just ask them. Most people will be helpful and maybe point to some potential leads.
As you continue to branch out and locate more contacts, you will need to keep their relevance in mind. This will help you determine how they can be used and what effort you will need to take in the development of a relationship. Some contacts will just be a means to gain information regarding other prospects that will, in the end, be more valuable to your employment-seeking efforts.
Once you have a strategy for taking names and making new contacts, you can keep adding them indefinitely, but you should keep in mind that the more people you have to manage, the less time you will have to carry out other networking strategies.
How to make quantity work for you - The sheer amount of exposure to multiple individuals particularly on online networking sites such as LinkedIn and Ecademy will ensure that you have an exponentially larger area potential coverage by possibly hundreds of contacts that can help you find the right position in a company or other corporate setting. With a large networking list, you have more people who can potentially scout out a job for you and let you know about it. If you've taken the time to develop your quantity network relationship strategically, and targeted key players who can influence many of the other lesser contacts, you can use numbers to gain a decisive advantage and find what you want much faster and effectively.
How to build a quality network with quantity - You should start by building a core group of quality contacts and use them as a base to expand the quantity of the network, while striving to keep the quality of contact in check along the way. This provides the best of both: the range of a quantity-based network with the strength and reliability found in quality contacts.
A Web page of your own can be a helpful networking tool because it provides a way for prospective contacts to find you. A number of portal sites on the Internet, such as Geocities, will host Web pages. For a search engine that enables you to find Web sites with free Web space hosting, go to FreeWebspace.Net
NetLingo, The Internet Dictionary, defines a Weblog or Blog a "frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links. A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people." Like a personal Web site, a blog can facilitate online networking by enabling people to find you. In addition, these online journals often enable networking by inviting readers to comment through e-mail or a discussion board. Find out more about blogging and access blogging resources at these sites:
Invasion of Recruiters on Social Networking Sites
Kristin Gissaro, Director National Sales Climber.com
Originally postes ERE blog network, March 21st, 2008
No doubt either you or someone you know is on Myspace, Facebook and/or LinkedIn, especially if you are part of Gen X and Y. No doubt recruiters are checking these sites to inspect candidates.But should users have to take precaution with what they put on their profiles just in case a recruiter sees it? I would say no and here's why.
Social Networking Websites are the epitome of the First Amendment. They are a way to keep in touch with family, friends, coworkers and even clients. These sites offer an open forum for people to express themselves and create profiles which reflect their personality. Recruiters are tasked with hiring talent that is not only qualified for the job but will also be a good fit within the organization including sharing the same ideals, goals and values as the company. If a recruiter is going to check out a candidate’s profile on these sites, then they should be prepared to see who the candidate really is in real life.
By no means am I implying that the information on a candidate’s profile should sway the recruiter’s decision. If they are going to check out the profile, then the recruiter needs to be competent enough to know where to draw the line when making inferences.
I don't put anything on my Myspace or Facebook that is offensive or disturbing. In fact, I want to make sure that my profiles are a true representation of my personality and personal brand. I’m not going to leave out a photo of me having fun last Saturday night. I want the recruiter to see that I like to have fun.
I think it is up to the recruiter to determine whether or not they should go down that road: seems to me like it would be stepping into dangerous territory. Where do the EEO laws kick in with regards to seeing a candidate’s age, sex, race or sexual orientation on their profiles and how recruiters will keep that out of the decision making process.