I just read an article by the self proclaimed largest Job Search Board, providing ten reasons a job seeker may not be able to find a job. I totally agree with the first reason, which was, the job seeker may not be networking enough. The other nine reasons dealt primarily with not utilizing the aforementioned job board properly. Since using job boards to find jobs, is not regarded as one of the top job search methods, I am going to discuss networking further.
Networking with established contacts is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to find a job. I was at a church service one Sunday, a few years ago, and overheard one church member tell another he had lost his job. The other church member said he could use someone like him in his business and hired him the following week. Serendipity rarely happens to this extent but if an individual is out of work and does not let anyone know it will never happen. For the most part, people do want to help other people as long as they are not put on the spot.
No mention was made in the job board article on finding a job about using social networks such as LinkedIn. According to the author of LinkedIn for DUMMIES, Joel Elad, “Currently 130,000 recruiters are members of LinkedIn, constantly using the search functions to go through the database and find skilled members that match their job search requirements”. He goes on to say, “Instead of companies paying big money for resume books, they now have tens of millions of qualified professionals, each of which has a detailed profile with skills, experience and recommendations already available”. LinkedIn is an obvious social networking choice for Professionals seeking work because it is targeted to Professionals, but other social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, etc. are being used by recruiters to find candidates. Some recruiters are even trying to use Twitter to find candidates but the jury is still out on how effective a tool Twitter will be for recruiters.
Since I am a Third Party Recruiter (Headhunter), I would be remiss if I did not recommend networking with Third Party Recruiters. Very often Third Party Recruiters have access to positions that are not posted on Job Boards, Company Web Sites, or Newspapers because Human Resource Recruiters know that they would be so inundated with resumes that they would be overwhelmed. Networking with headhunters involves more than sending a resume to a third party recruiter and then disappearing. Networking with a third party recruiter should at least include answering the telephone when recuiters call. Recruiter networking should also include follow up every few weeks. Not including headhunters in the job search process will result in the loss of a valuable resource. I recommend using third party recruiters that specialize placing job seekers in the industry or services area where the job seeker wants to work. If a definite geographic location is desired, working with recruiters who recruit for a specific region is also a good idea.
There are many job seeking tools available and they all should be used in this very tough market but networking should not be overlooked, or under utilized, in favor of easier job search methods, such as, placing a resume on a Job Board and waiting by the telephone for the job offers to roll in.