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Networking: A job hunt cliché, or the most important thing?  

 

coach_tom
coach_tom
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March 12, 2020 3:18 pm  

That is “word of mouth”, the slightly less effective version of networking. Trouble is, people do this, and think they are networking. Further, when nobody else in your group “hears of who is hiring”, the next step is to conclude that nobody is hiring, and then the gloom and doom sets in.

Let's look at something more helpful - Networking, as defined by the Five O'Clock Club is “using an existing relationship to obtain an interview”. Word of mouth gets you no closer to a meeting than reading a help wanted ad in the paper.

Actual networking takes a bit more effort. You will want to do the following:
1) Decide the types of companies you want to work for
2) Sit and think “do I know anyone there”
3) Think of anyone you know who seems well connected in the industry

Once you have your list of people you know, make sure you do some research on their companies. Call, email or text them.. if you have to use LinkedIn and message them, you aren't really networking.

Tom's free tip: If you don't have any solid professional relationships you can lean on in times like this, you are either new, or can't make friends. Don't neglect those people skills!

When you contact them, make sure you mention the cool stuff their company is doing, and how impressed you are. Then tell them you are looking for a new career challenge, then ask them who in their company should have your resume in case an opportunity arises.
This much smoother than asking your friend for a job. We all know that's what you are doing, but this is more polite and not seen as begging. this also removes your friend from the agony of being your advocate, unless they put themselves there.

Another word of advice – don't pester your relationships.. once you find out who needs your resume, follow up with THEM.
And lastly, if one of your relationships says “we're not hiring”, don't let that stop you.. just say, “if you WERE hiring”, who should have my resume.. I just want to send a PDF document, not get married” keep it light and fun.

I know many of you are asking “what if I don't know anyone”?

We'll cover that next time.

Until next time, I wish you all the best!

Coach Tom


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Dick Woodward
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March 13, 2020 1:54 pm  

Networking and interviewing are the two most important skills that a job seeker can have. Tom has given a good summary of networking. For the job seeker, there are many more threads on both of these subjects in the archives - look them up.

 

Dick


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Dave Jensen
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Posts: 935
March 14, 2020 6:20 pm  

It's BOTH. It's a cliche because that's the easy answer that anyone will give you when you ask them for job search advice. But on the other side of the coin, it IS the SINGLE MOST important element of job search success.

 

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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DX
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 620
March 15, 2020 9:33 pm  

Agree on Networking - never did disagree. 

2 points where I don't agree with Coach Tom.

1. LinkedIn Messsaging:  Coach Tom says its not networking. For many it IS a networking first step, especially for those courageous enough to use it.  In the absence of any other network, to make a contact, why not?. 

The contact, when using this channel, should be VERY targeted.  That is, some research done apriori to understand who it is you're reaching or contacting.  In generally it is NOT an HR person or Company Talent scout. Ideally, it's the hiring manager (if sleuthing is done right) or a key member of the team or group you are targeting.  In my opinion, it is the Amateur who just targets a company. It's a good first step to learn the market, however - one should have a somewhat clear view which functions/teams you're looking to join - with LinkedIn and the internet that is not so difficult today. You can find "who's who" if you take the time.

Personally, I have cold-called on LinkedIn in the past - a long time ago - and got returns. I was targeted and when after a hiring manager.  Today many are "active" on LinkedIn and some will actively use messaging there to chat - its could actually be as good as text/SMS - we ALL have our smartphones in meetings and nearly everyone I know is on LinkedIn - alerts go to email and from LinkedIn in, itself. So, use LinkedIn well to start the network process, be targeted.

Number 2 point of disagreement:  When you run into someone who says "we're not hiring".  Walk away.  Don't waste time trying to get a name to send a PDF, - you're speaking to the wrong person. That's response signals that the person you're speaking to is worthless, useless, zero value to any further discussion and progress - a waste on many fronts to your job seeking efforsts, both in your time and resources.  Keep moving, cut losses, do not keep in contact with that person. Just give a gentle "thank you" and keep trying to find the right person through other channels.  

My two cents, other than that, fully agree with the rest of the post.

DX


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Dave Jensen
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 935
March 22, 2020 2:29 pm  

Dick,

I agree with you about the "we're not hiring" person. That is, a person who says this quickly into your conversation/discussion. It's a buzz off. It's very true that you can work for a company that is not hiring at the moment, but it doesn't mean that you can't take a few minutes out to help another person or to give some guidance to a younger scientist following your path. When the person uses "not hiring" as a crutch, it can come across as rude and sends really negative signals about that employer. Agree -- avoid them!

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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DX
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 620
March 24, 2020 8:09 am  

Dave,

Seems like these "blog" postings are some form of automatic feeds where the authors do not appear to engage or be interested in engaging?  Looks like from a Biocareers perspective, the site appears "disordered" in terms of ad-hoc posters from articles or they're sourcing them elsewhere a bit uncoordinated?   Just perception maybe.

DX


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Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 935
April 4, 2020 11:02 pm  

Yes, I think you're right DX. The author, upon submitting his or her blog, has the opportunity to have their blog posted as a post here, and unfortunately we haven't done a good job of engaging that writer to come in here and discuss it with us. Don't know how to solve this other than to point it out to the site owners.

Thanks, Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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