Effective Networking Step 3 – Stop Meeting People

This entry is part 2 of 1 in the series Effective Networking Step 2 On-line Social Media & LinkedIn

So many candidates misunderstand effective networking. They really don’t even understand networking. Many think networking is all about meeting people. The more you meet, the better the network. This is one of those misguided themes that lead many people to frustration.

Effective networking isn’t about meeting people. It is about meeting the right people. I have written on this before.

One hundred of the right people in your database is worth  more than 1,200 people who can’t help you.

A common misunderstanding that I hear all of the time from candidates is, “Networking is about helping others.” I do agree with this and believe it is important. However, this isn’t the main reason for networking. The fact is, you are networking to help you. This is why most people (95%) stop networking once they land a new position.

Here are a few tips to help you effectively network with the right people:

  1. Do some research on the types of people you want to meet and why you want to meet them. This could be by function, industry, service providers, or associations. This list should be comprehensive. Don’t waste time meeting people unless they meet this criteria or are no more than 1 degree removed from this list.
  2. Research how to meet the people on this list. Identify who they come in contact with, ask people who they might know on the list, attend meetings consistent with these people’s background or industry. Focus like a laser beam on meeting these people.
  3. Network with a purpose. You should always ask yourself, “Why do I want to spend time with this person?” What’s in it for you? If nothing, either don’t waste the time or at least do it around your schedule and location.
  4. Do your research before meeting a person. Look at their contacts on LinkedIn, identify who they are connected with that are on the list from #1, bring your list of people that you want them to introduce you to, prepare what questions you have for them, be prepared to open your contacts to them and make a referral to help them, and understand why  you want to spend time with them.
  5. Have a plan to keep in touch with them to develop a relationship. In the meeting, probe to identify their interests so you can engage them later around these interests.
  6. Ask them to bring their contacts with them to the meeting and you should also bring yours. This way you can help each other on the spot. The effectiveness of additional referrals drops significantly after the meeting. This is why you are meeting, so take full advantage of it.
  7. Stay focused on your list. Don’t stray from it. These are the people you have identified as the people that can best help you find a job. Instead of wasting time with those that can’t help you, spend the time focusing on how to connect with those that can. This is far more valuable.

The best way to effectively network is to meet the right people. This sounds so obvious, however, I have discovered like many things most candidates “know this” but don’t actually practice it. If they did, then I and many others wouldn’t be writing on it so often.

I find over and over again those candidates that stay focused on meeting the right people not only find a job faster, but also enjoy networking more than those that just meet people. I believe this is because they see results.

Expand your online network by joining our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group of 5,300 members and growing. There are many articles and resources in this group to help  you. CLICK HERE to join.

You can also download free cover letter and thank you letter examples. These have both been proven to be very effective. CLICK HERE and then scroll down to the What’s New Section at the bottom.

I welcome your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Building An Effective Network Step 2 – Online Social Media & LinkedIn Profile

Step one of effective networking focused on the offline networking process. It discussed why so many candidates receive such little value from networking that most just give up. I understand why this happens and hopefully the 4 steps started to change how most candidates approach networking.

Online networking is becoming more and more an effective way to connect. I personally don’t believe it is even close to as effective as offline networking, but one has to make sure that this base is covered. Just like the offline networking that we described in Step 1, it too must be covered effectively. Just doing it for the sake of doing it will not be any more effective in your search than meeting a bunch of people and going to a lot of networking meetings just for the sake of doing it.

There are very few things one can do poorly and expect anything other than poor results. Yet, this is what many of the candidates I encounter expect given their networking process.

Online networking takes effort. It is much more than just filling in the blanks on your LinkedIn profile and then hoping a recruiter or hiring authority will see it and think, “WOW, what a great person, I need to contact them now.”  I recently conducted a small poll asking approximately 500 people how they would rate their LinkedIn profile. To my surprise, most were completely honest and rated it poor to below average. A few rated it good and one or two rated it excellent. Of those that rated it good and excellent, four made the mistake of asking if I agreed and wanted my opinion. Don’t ask me for my opinion if you don’t want a complete answer. When I finished writing my assessment of their profile, all agreed that their profile needed work and was incomplete and therefore ineffective.

Here are some things to consider when building an online network and how to fully utilize it:

  1. Limit your expectations. LinkedIn and other social media sites are not a silver bullet for finding a job. They are definitely an important component, but don’t over rely on them. Offline networking is still at the top of the list when searching for a position.
  2. I cannot stress enough that you need to make sure that you not only have a complete profile on LinkedIn or Google, but also make sure it is compelling. This is your home page. Make sure it demonstrates that you are the expert in your field. Do an analysis of your competitors just like companies do. Review other profiles in your functional area. See what they have to offer. How does their profile compare to yours? If you looked at both profiles, which person would you contact first? Be objective.  CLICK HERE to get a FREE checklist to building a compelling profile.
  3. A profile is meaningless if you still aren’t findable. What steps are you taking to make yourself findable? (Part 3 in this series). How sure are you that if my team of recruiters was searching for you that they would find you? This is what counts.
  4. Once they do find you, how difficult is it to connect with you? This is a major issue. Most candidates don’t understand the process LinkedIn uses to connect people. If we aren’t connected at the first level and you don’t have your contact information displayed on your profile, LinkedIn makes it difficult to connect with you. In addition, the way their system works it can take days to make contact.
  5. Have you Googled your name and reviewed what shows up? Most have done this. Do the results link the person Googling you back to your LinkedIn profile? This can be a problem if you have a common name. Bob Smith, Jane Jones, Mark Roberts may have hundreds of names show up. It can take a long time to find you.

Online networking is a good thing,  however, it is often over relied upon by candidates. Too many candidates believe that if they build it, people will just find them. This is just not true. I wish it were, as that would sure make my job easier. You have to work your profile. You have to get it out into the marketplace.

The good news is few candidates do this. If you do, you will be the one that gets the call.

You can get our Create a Powerful LinkedIn Profile To Find a Job webinar package. This includes all of the slides and the audio recording. The audio is an hour and a half and there are more than 30 slides that will walk you through step-by-step and show you exactly how to build a compelling profile. CLICK HERE to read more.

Join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. 5,300 members are there for you to connect with. CLICK HERE to join.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Why Job Boards Are A Poor Job Search Strategy

Are you investing too much time responding to job ads on job boards? Are you depending too much on finding your next job through a job advertisement? The vast majority of jobs are not posted on job boards. This pool of available opportunities is called the hidden job market. Research studies have shown that 80% or more of all jobs are NOT listed on job boards. In this radio program, Brad and Barry help you to focus on how to penetrate the hidden job market by determining how appropriate are the contacts in your network, how to establish a networking relationship, and how to build trust over time with the most important people in your network so that you can generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.

Click here to download or listen live to this recording.

10 Reasons Why Candidates Fail At Networking

Studies show that over 80% of all jobs are within the “hidden job market”. Only 15%-20% of all jobs are filled through job board advertising or through recruiters. If all you’re doing as a candidate is applying for jobs posted on-line, your job search is doomed to fail. To see the great opportunities within the hidden job market, a candidate must be effective at job search networking. In this recording of our weekly live radio broadcast, we share the top ten reasons candidates fail at networking and how to overcome these common failure points of job search networking.

Click here to download or listen live to this recording

Understanding Why Transition Often Happens Can Help Avoid Turnover

Understanding the Circle Of Transition


High turnover exists because most candidates accept positions they should never have accepted in the first place.

Candidates with high turnover need to understand why it happens and how to stop it. The first step in accomplishing this is understanding when you are in the Circle of Transition. If you don’t know about this circle you will never get past the high turnover problem.

We believe this is one of the most important aspect in one’s career and most candidates don’t even know it exists.

To stop your high turnover and get out of the Circle of Transition you must first listen to this recording.

Click here to download this recording or listen to it live.

Effective Networking Requires Planning – Step #1

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series effective networking

The key word in the title is “effective.” Anyone can network ineffectively. The sad part is that most people I meet do ineffective networking. What is sadder is that they get frustrated or burned out and often give up.

The common belief  I hear from candidates about networking is generally all about meeting as many people as possible. Networking is not about meeting people. It is about meeting the right people.  Granted, most candidates are out meeting a lot of people. If meeting a lot of people is their goal, then most are achieving it. However, for most, the reason for networking is to receive job leads or referrals that will lead to job leads. Many candidates, if not most candidates, aren’t achieving this goal at the level they would like to.

I believe this is strictly a result of lack of planning. The 6 P’s are something to remember, “Prior proper planning prevents poor performance.”

Planning takes time and research which is something few are willing to do when entering the market. I’m not saying many don’t think extensively about all the options, but thinking isn’t planning.

True planning means more than thinking. It involves action. It involves writing. Research isn’t thinking, it involves work, testing, and change if the research doesn’t prove effective.

Networking planning means preparing the tools you need to effectively promote yourself. Some very basic tools you need are:

  1. Networking cards, not business cards. Too many people go to Vistaprint online and get the free cards. Like most things that are free in life, you get what you pay for. These are fine when you go to an interview, but worthless for networking.
  2. Develop a networking bio. Don’t use your resume.
  3. Most don’t have any networking plan written out. I have tested this in the last month prior to writing this. I have asked all of the 43 people I have met over the last month to bring a copy of their networking plan to our meeting. Six had something to bring and three of those looked like they made it up for our meeting. At least that is a start.
  4. Few had identified a thorough list of people, companies, organizations and trusted advisers they want to meet. You need a specific list by name.

Just doing these four things will greatly improve the effectiveness of one’s job search. I know this for a fact, because the three people I’m counseling on their job search have done these things and have seen dramatic changes in their referrals.

Try implementing these four steps for starters. Then we will move on to Step 2 – effective social media networking. By the end of this series, I hope to help you become highly effective at networking.

For more information on effective networking, check out our many free resources.  CLICK HERE to review and download the free resource that is best for you.

Join our Job Search Networking Group on LinkedIn. This is one of the best free resources for some of the best articles on the topic of job search. CLICK HERE to join.

Start by assessing how effective your job search is by downloading our free 8-Point Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. This will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your job search. CLICK HERE to assess how effective your job search is.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.