Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Social networking and job search part 3 – networking for background information

Posted in job search and career development by Timothy Platt on October 14, 2009

A key goal in developing a job search campaign is to learn to present yourself as an insider and as someone expert in the intricacies and language of the work environment that you want to work in. This is particularly important to work on if you are making anything in the way of a career transition, either for industry worked in or specific position you would take (e.g. moving up to a higher level of responsibility as would be the case with a promotion.)

Professional journals and industry-specific newsletters can help in this as can participating in webinars and other more interactive forums. Business intelligence gathering as discussed in part 2 of this series can help a lot here as well. But nothing matches direct conversation with people in the field for becoming an insider, and both for information gathering and for direct, immediate feedback.

Develop a list of the types of people you need to contact and meet with, or at least reach by phone or Skype and use your business intelligence gathering effort including your review of social networking data (LinkedIn profiles, etc) to build a potential initial contacts list. Contact people on the list though sites like LinkedIn or more directly with referrals if you can and always ask for further networking leads in this to make sure you reach as many really effective contacts as you can. This approach gives you both an enriched understanding of the basic background information for the position you want and its business context and it can often offer real insight into your target company as well. People tend to learn about the competition as well as about their own companies and they do hear and learn about businesses that relate to or connect with their businesses.

I have to add that this type of networking can also give you increased visibility. If you come across to these networking contacts as intelligent, easy to converse (or work) with and enthusiastic that will translate into your being favorably remembered. That means your background information networking contacts can be turned into sources for new leads that might turn into specific job opportunities too, as they hear of opportunities they see as matching your skills and interests.

Next in this social networking and job search series – part 4 and practice networking and prioritizing your search targets.

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  1. […] in the Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development here with particular emphasis on Networking for Background Information and Practice Networking and Prioritizing Your Search Targets. When you are moving to a Plan B, […]

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