By David Perry,
The key to networking, of course, 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. There are many of online networking sites. 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 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.
Facebook, On November 1st, 2010, Facebook had more than 500 million users. If Facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest by sheer population, eclipsed only by India and China. When compared to Facebook, the two best branded job boards, CareerBuilder and Monsterboard, have dismal website traffic. Go to Compete.com, plug the sites in and you will see for yourself.Â
BranchOut – Branchout.com is a new social networking add-on for Facebook that looks like it will have similar functionality for job hunters as LinkedIn. BranchOut helps you expand your career network to include everyone you know on Facebook. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. Every time a Facebook friend joins BranchOut, you see where they used to work, where they work now, and where their friends work. If you’re looking for your dream job, these connections can open the door.
ExecuNet – If you’re in the 100k or more salary range then this networking venue is for you. ExecuNet was founded 18 years ago as the premier networking site on the internet. ExecuNet still holds that title. They make it easy for senior-level professionals to connect directly with business decision-makers, executive recruiters, and their peers. Not only do they have a web site full of information and advice YOU CAN NOT find anywhere else, they also host 5-STAR speakers and authors. Of course I’m biased because founder Dave Opton wrote the Foreword for the 1st edition of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 1n 2005. It was either him or Donald Trump and with Dave you’re more likely to hear “Youre Hired!”
Here are 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 also has a real life networking component maybe even 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 naturally helpful and often talkative. They boast over 30 million people and 900,000 companies.
MySpace – the Groups Home page clusters people by interests. The site also has a career space.
The Social Networking Web Log which just happens to be loaded with tips on reaching inside the companies you want. Your network will grow as quickly as you can recruit members who can then recruit other members. Your ability to e-Network your way to a new job grows exponentially as your network develops – a social pyramid scheme so-to-speak. For all the latest on social networking you should read what else?
Social networking sites where designed to help people with common interests connect. However several sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Friendster, Blogger, Flickr and YouTube have become popular “adjunct referencing” tools for recruiters lately, so I’d check them all out and see if your potential employer is going to find anything embarrassing about you. If they do there’s a new service [thankfully] which deals with this called Naymz.
REMEMBER: Guerrilla Marketing is an attitude. Tap into your future employer’s timeless fixations with vanity and self fulfillment. Show them that – by hiring you – they’ll become the corporate hero and score the corner office!