I know. You heard it over and over – “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that gets you hired.” That translates to networking. When deciding on which networking group (or groups) to join, I recommend people join at least three types of groups: 1. Professional Group: Many professional groups for your specific field have job boards accessible only to their members. Professional groups also give you an opportunity to build a network within your field and often you get a chance to put a small bio on their website in the members section. This helps you build your online brand – as 77% of employers now Google candidates prior to interviewing them. 2. Peer Group: When you’re in job search mode, groups like 40+ can provide support and brainstorming. Make sure your group is proactive and positive. Groups that become “downers” are not going to help you with your search. Employers often hire attitudes over skill sets – and that means positive ones. 3. Common Activity Group: Groups like Toastmasters are a good example. You not only network, but you learn a skill that enhances your career at the same time! Now, go on, pick your group and get active!
2 thoughts on “Networking: How to choose a group”
Thanks Dave. I’ve spoken at several of the 40+ groups here in Wisconsin several times. You asked about social networking – I strongly believe in it, but not as an alternative to in-person networking. It’s essential to connect personally – via voice or live events (like yours) in addition to maintaining the connection online. With regard to Meetup.com, I have a colleague who has used it, but not successfully. I like LinkedIn and Facebook is catching up as far as a tool for adults to use for online networking now. 🙂
First, thanks for the 40Plus plug. As you may know, we offer free public weekly Monday morning networking meetings featuring speakers on various job search topics. We’re also big advocates of using less formal networking opportunities — neighborhood, school or church groups, for example — to advance the job search process. What’s new and challenging for our members is understanding the value of online social/professional networking venues such as LinkedIn or participating in blogs. I hate saying this, but it’s sort of like trying to teach old dogs new tricks. It’s hard to get people to move beyond their apprehension of new technologies. That said, I was wondering if you can give me some feedback about Meetup.com as a networking/marketing tool? We’re thinking about using it to help market our weekly Monday meetings.
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