The Job Search And Career Advice Blog header image 2

Networking Is Not ONLY About Job Referrals…

March 5th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Posted by

… It’s also about job intelligence.

I mean intelligence in the sense of military intelligence. Let me explain.

A while back, we had one of the readers of this blog share her job search success story. The purpose of this was not to say, “Gee, what a great blog are we! We helped someone find a job!” The purpose was to have her share what strategies and techniques worked for her.

When some people pursue job search networking, it’s all about the personal referral: someone on the inside who knows someone, getting your foot in the door or your resume to the top of the pile.

But this is not the only thing job search networking can do for you. Especially now, as the economy is clearly in a downturn, not everyone in your network is going to be able to give you a referral. In fact, maybe no one can.

But job search networking is about something else as well: the inside scroop.

Your network of friends can also provide you with valuable intelligence about what’s working out there in the real world and what isn’t.

Networking isn’t just about what someone else can do for you, it’s also about what someone else can tell you about their experience.

Here are some examples of job search intelligence your network might be able to provide you:

  • “Yeah, that company was hiring last month, but they just filled their quota. Don’t waste your time.”
  • “You know what I heard? They can’t hire accountants fast enough.”
  • “I totally screwed up that interview. If I had known better, I would have played up my security credentials. If you interview with them, play up your military background.”

So when you’re out there canvassing for job leads, don’t be afraid to ask everyone in your network what the reality is out there on the ground.

Even if they’re not looking for a job themselves, ask anyone and everyone about their company or industry and the health of the job market therein.

Heck, if you’re really banging your head against the wall, just ask people what worked for them in the past. Any experience that led to success is something to mull over (as our reader shared with us last week).

The New York Times had similar advice this past Sunday.

Rather than asking for a job, ask for advice, said Kevin Donlin, creator of the Instant Job Search System, a guide for job seekers that uses marketing techniques. “Pick the five most successful people you know in your industry and ask them how they found their last three jobs.

“Take notes, and at the end of the conversation, tell them how and when you’ll use at least one of the things they told you,” he said.

Related posts:

  1. Quick Tip For More Effective Networking
  2. Kickstart – Social Networking For Jobs?

Tags: Networking

  • Miriam

    Exactly right! If everyone networked for information and not “for a job,” more people would be successful and we in the career coaching business wouldn’t have to spend so much time convincing clients to NETWORK!!!

    Don’t forget to make networking a two-way street. Even if you are seeking information and initiating the contact, making an effort to share valuable information in return makes a win-win. And everyone loves a win-win!

    Miriam Salpeter

  • Dee

    This is an excellent post.

    I have emailed a few people who actually have one of my “dream” jobs, simply asking them how they got to where they are (people love talking about themselves) and if they had any advice on how I could position myself to be them in a few years.

    This is a regular networking tool I use and I am continually surprised how many of them actually respond and provide ample advice. I follow up with a handwritten thank you note (sent to their offices) and try and check in ever few months to let them know how I’ve used their advice.

  • Richard Rinyai

    This is so true. I actually wrote an article on this as wel about using Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn as networking tools. I’m amazed on how many people I was able to find from my past that are potential leads for things that I might need in the future.

    Here’s the article if you’re interested in reading it:


    Richard Rinyai