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Networking doesn’t work for MY job search!

It’s not unusual for people to tell me that their situation is different than others, and networking doesn’t work for them.

Usually, it’s after they tried to connect with someone, or they reached out to someone that they found on LinkedIn and it produced no leads, referrals, or insight.

More often than not, it has more to do with HOW they try networking than whether networking works or not.

I heard a voicemail recently that was intended as a networking call to reach out to someone in the hopes of getting referrals. Unfortunately, it was a disaster. The message lasted over 2 minutes, the person rambled, repeated themselves, had no point to the message, and almost forgot to leave their phone number. It’s highly unlikely that they get many, if any, returned phone calls. It’s even more unlikely that they get any referrals or leads… not many people that receive a message like that would feel comfortable inflicting the caller on one of their acquaintances.

The caller probably believes that “networking” for a job search is way over-rated since it doesn’t seem to work for them.

Similarly, others run into friends or acquaintances at a mall or grocery store and ramble endlessly about their job loss and difficulties in finding a new job, and then are surprised when even friends don’t seem to be willing to share names and job leads.

They soon decide that their circumstances must be different, and networking doesn’t work in their situation, and they quit trying.

It’s not the concept of networking that’s the problem, but rather how they do it!

Preparation is key!

Know what you’re going to say! - Write scripts… for a conversation, and another one for the inevitable voicemails.

Brevity is a virtue! - Don’t ramble, be concise, get to the point.

Be direct! - State your objective soon and without fluff.

Practice! – The presentation improves with repetition.

Try and try again! – Nothing works every time. The more often you do it, the more likely you are to see results.


Don’t decide that networking doesn’t work for you! Find ways to improve until it works!


No One Bats a 1000!
Your Elevator Speech: Keep It Simple Silly
In your job search… Don’t Ask For Jobs!
Are You Referable?


SamMis said...

What to do if you always plan for the best and make it about helping the other person, and still at worst receiving unfair badwill of not decently being responded to at the least or provided some leads.

In my experience, the worst, unfortunate part has been getting interviews for jobs through contacts at times, preparing best for the interview and with good follow-up and worst not getting the job?

How come many people hurtfully tout networking gets jobs when sadly after false hope it hasn't despite strategies tried?

Rich Marsh said...

I find that most people who say this have a bizarre idea along the lines that "Networking means browbeating some poor sap into getting me a job." They react negatively to it because they are doing it wrong with the wrong motives.

At BJM, we teach that "Networking is seeing how many people you can help. Along the way, some will help you back." This "help" can be many forms, not just your network. If you can fix their lawn mower, or know someone who's a great baby sitter, or you can help them fix their computer, or.... Lots of things. It's about building relationships, making friends. Most people won't open their network to you until you've talked with them four or five times, in person.

We've found that when you teach them, "It's all about making friends," they tend to change their attitude. Of course, when we add that the kind of person most likely to refer you to a hiring manager is a former co-worker, they cheer up, and look forward to doing it.

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