Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Networking still tops in job hunts

The more people you tell about your job search, the more likely you'll get a lead, experts say.

By Kathy Lynn Gray

Starting your job search

The spadework required to dig up a new job has changed significantly in the past two decades, but one old saw has remained the same: It's still who you know.

"Talk to your friends, your co-workers, salespeople, classmates, the people in the doctor's office," said Heather Allen, branch manager for Manpower in the Columbus market. "Everybody knows somebody."

The more people you tell, the more likely you'll turn up a job.

Or, in a weak economy, a job lead.

"People are hiring friends and family," Allen said.

The fancy term for spreading the word about your job search is networking, and the Internet has opened plenty of new ways to do it. Employment counselors put networking at the top of their lists of best ways to search for jobs.

"We've found the more networked a person is, the better the result they're going to have," said Susan Miller, Columbus branch manager for the employment agency Robert Half International.

That means joining online sites such as LinkedIn, a professional networking site, and Facebook and Twitter, two social-networking sites. You can post a profile about yourself on these sites, search for people you know and join groups. Each keystroke can link you to people you know and then, people they know.

Experts on the job-search process have favorite ideas:

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