Feature: Networking Online As Your Mother Taught You

Feature: Networking Online As Your Mother Taught You

Feature: Networking Online As Your Mother Taught You

There are jobs, and there are dream jobs. Jobs will come to you. Dream jobs have to be uncovered. How do you do that? Most experts agree that the best way to find the best employment opportunities is by networking. And while traditional networking is a widely understood (if sporadically practiced) skill, networking on the Internet is still a mystery to many of us.

I call this online activity “e-networking.” It’s guided by two very simple rules you probably learned from your mother:

  • The first lesson your mother taught you was almost certainly, “Don’t speak to strangers.” That’s true in networking, as well. People who don’t know you are unlikely to take the risk of referring you to friends or colleagues who may have an opening that is just right for you. The key to effective networking, therefore, is hiding in plain sight. The word says exactly what it means; it’s netWORK, not Netget-around-to-it-whenever-you feel-like-it. I recommend that you invest thirty minutes twice a week in networking online. Less that that will preclude you from building familiarity and trust with others; more than that will divert your attention from the other things you should be doing in a job search campaign.
  • The second lesson your mother probably taught you was, “It’s nice to share.” If you want others to share their knowledge of open positions and access to contacts, then you have to be willing to do the same. Think of e-networking as a collaborative activity, as teamwork. The most successful e-networkers treat that word as TEAMwork; they see themselves as an integral part of the group with which they are networking, and they view their role in the group to be one of proactive contribution. They will share the information and insights they have so that others can be just as successful in their search for a new or better job as they hope to be in theirs. Think of e-networking, therefore, as the adult version of the Golden Rule: it’s all about treating others as you would like them to treat you.
  • These rules, of course, are just as important in traditional networking as they are in e-networking. It’s where and how they are applied that’s different online. Traditional networking is typically done one-on-one and in person. You network on the phone or in a meeting, and the key to success is “who you know.” If you know the right person, you can find one of those dream jobs.

    eNetworking, on the other hand, occurs via e-mail at bulletin boards and discussion forums on the Internet. When you share information and contacts online, you are sharing them with tens, even hundreds of other people. e-Networking, therefore, is a one-on-many form of communication. It enables you to dramatically expand the range of people “who know you” (and may be willing to assist in your job search). And, you can do that while you sit at home in your fuzzy slippers and peck away at your computer.

    Does that mean that e-networking is social networking in business attire? Absolutely not. In one you’re trying to find a friend or a date; in the other, you’re trying to find a job or advance your career. e-Networking is not a leisure activity; it’s an exercise in building work-related relationships. It’s best accomplished, therefore, at sites where others have the same intention. These include sites that are operated by:

  • your professional or trade association;
  • your undergraduate, graduate or technical school alumni organization; or
  • an affinity group that is appropriate for you (e.g., veterans, women in technology, Java programmers in St. Louis).
  • In addition, you might also try:

  • an emerging kind of job board that’s best described as a “career portal” and offers features and functions for career advancement as well as job search or
  • corporate blogs that a small, but growing number of employers (e.g., Micorsoft, Honeywell) are starting to use on their sites to establish a dialogue with employment prospects.
  • You can find these groups and/or their sites by conducting a search at Google, Yahoo!, Ask and other search engines and through the Groups tab at Google and the Blog Directory at Yahoo!. You’ll probably uncover lots of places where you can interact with others who can be helpful to you in your job search. However, given that you will only be investing an hour or so per week in your e-networking and that you must share to be effective, I recommend that you find the one group where you feel most comfortable and limit your participation to it. Then, be conscientious about your involvement and generous with your contribution.

    e-Networking is not a substitute for traditional networking. It is, instead, a way for you to uncover the dream jobs that most people will never even hear about … and show your mother that you were listening to her after all.

    Thanks for reading,


    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Dice, an IT and engineering career portal, published its report on the top ten metro areas for tech employment, based on job postings at its site during August, 2006. The top locales:

  • #1: New York/New Jersey
  • #2: Silicon Valley
  • #3: Washington, D.C.
  • #4: Los Angeles
  • #5: Chicago
  • #6: Philadelphia
  • #7: Boston
  • #8: Dallas
  • #9: Atlanta
  • #10: Seattle
  • What skills are employers looking for? According to the poll, project management and database administration expertise are in greatest demand. The outlook for Linus, C, C++, and SQL Server skills is also good.

    The Economic Policy Institute published a new report that confirms the importance of a college degree, but also concludes that even a diploma cannot guarantee financial security. It found that real hourly wages for college graduates grew just 1.3% from 2000-2005, not enough to keep up with inflation. Indeed, according to the report, the real income for a typical family in the United States today is lower than it was in 2005. How can you protect yourself? By recognizing that graduation from college is the beginning of your professional development, not the end. There is no such thing as a “terminal degree” any more. In addition, you must be equally as expert at career self-management. I call this expertise “career fitness” because, as with your physical health, only you can build a strong and enduring career for yourself and you must work at doing so every single day.

    MonsterTRAK, the college channel for Monster.com, announced the five hottest occupations for entry-level professionals, based on the number of job postings at its site during the 2005/6 academic year. They are:

  • #5: Computer, Information Technology, and Mathematical
  • #4: Architecture and Engineering
  • #3: Office, Administrative, and Customer Support
  • #2: Sales and Marketing
  • #1: Business Operations, HR, and Financial Services.
  • Within these groups, the following were most in demand among employers:

  • entry-level programmers
  • electrical and mechanical engineers
  • administrative assistants and call center workers
  • those with accounting and audit-related skills
  • those with human resource and labor relations training.
  • Robert Half International released the results of a survey of the most common mistakes that job seekers make during an interview. According to the senior executives who responded to the poll, they are:

  • having little or no knowledge of the organization where you’re interviewing;
  • being unprepared to discuss your skills and experience in detail;
  • being unprepared to discuss your career plans and goals and their relationship to the position for which you’re interviewing; and
  • showing little or no enthusiasm for the employer and/or the position.
  • Bottom line: an interview is both an audition with a prospective boss and colleagues and a contest between you and everyone else being interviewed. The only way to win, therefore, is to do your homework and strut your best stuff.

    WEDDLE’s announced its Fall/Winter Educational Program for job seekers and career activists. Called How to Look for a Job on the Web … and Still Look Like a Winner, this special program will be presented by WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle and includes an extraordinary array of helpful tips and useful techniques for finding a new or better job on the Internet. You’ll learn:

  • how to deploy job agents to find your dream job;
  • how to ace an interview by uncovering interview questions in advance;
  • how to gain a competitive advantage by networking online;
  • which job boards are displaying the best jobs for you;
  • and much, much more!
  • The seminar is presented as an audio conference with supporting course materials. In other words, the audio portion of your program will be delivered via toll free telephone to your location. There’s no need to travel to some distant hotel or training site. In addition, the PowerPoint slides for your program will be e-mailed to you in advance. That way you have a permanent copy of the training materials so that you can refer to them during the program and after it. (If you don’t have PowerPoint on your computer, the materials can also be sent to you in a Word document.) The seminar will be held on the following dates:

  • October 10th
  • October 23rd
  • November 15th
  • November 29th
  • All programs begin at 11:00 a.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. PST and last for one hour. Each program must have at least 10 registered students to be conducted. So, sign up now for the course date you want and then, talk to your friends and colleagues and get them to sign up, as well. That way, you’ll get the program date you want, and they’ll get the information they need to find their dream job on the Internet! This is a rare opportunity to hear from one of the job market’s real gurus, so reserve your seat right away. Call WEDDLE’s at 317.916.9424 today.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. The stock market is booming, and you’re a broker looking to make the move to a bigger firm. Where could you go online to score some big gains in employment opportunity?

  • eFinancialCareers.com
  • BrokerHunter.com
  • TopBrokers.com
  • SuperBrokers.com
  • 2. You have experience as a security guard but no longer want to work at night. Which of the following sites would help you lock up the job of your dreams?

  • SecurityJobs.net
  • NationJob.com
  • HotJobs.com
  • SecurityPros.com
  • 3. As an experienced recruiter, you know your way around the labor market. Which of the following sites would help you source a new job with more advancement potential?

  • TopUSAJobs.com
  • SelectRecruiters.com
  • RecruitingJobs.com
  • TheRecruiterNetwork.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories



    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Number of jobs: 350

    Salary levels of jobs: $101-150K/year

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: 12 months

    Restrictions on who can post: If registered

    Other services for job seekers: Career information, Links to other sites with resources

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: No

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. Only eFinancialCareers.com and BrokerHunter.com; TopBrokers.com is the site of a real estate broker, and SuperBrokers.com is the site of a yacht broker.

    2. All but SecurityPros.com, the site of an IT security consulting company.

    3. Only TopUSAJobs.com and RecruitingJobs.com; both SelectRecruiters.com and TheRecruiterNetwork.com are resume distribution companies selling services to job seekers.