networking_smallLanding a new job is sometimes referred to as a numbers game, because the wider you spread your job search strategy, the greater your chances of success. As such, networking is an area that cannot be overlooked.

Today, social networking is growing at a rapid rate. With the advent of technology it easily and quickly facilitates the formalization of networks and contacts.

Some Social Networking Numbers and Information

One in 10 organizations uses social networking sites for recruitment. LinkedIn (63%) is proving the most popular, followed by Facebook (39%) and then MySpace (21%). 51% of recruiters think social networking poses a challenge to traditional recruitment. It has also created an affordable recruitment tool for small to medium sized firms that lack the budget for a high level recruiter.

How to Network Effectively

The main complaint people make about networking is “I have done some networking and it has not produced any results”.



The follow on question to pose is as follows:

“Exactly how much networking have you done”? And “What were you hoping to achieve through networking”?

Networking is not a quick-fix miracle cure to finding a job. It takes time, focus and a certain amount of effort to produce results.

To make your networking work for you, take some time to consider and identify the following

  • What are your goals for networking?
  • What do you want to achieve via networking?

Obviously the ultimate goal is a job. However, it is worth thinking about setting some smaller goals that will lead there.

The theory of networking says that first layer networking, (talking to those people you already know) is very rarely useful. It is necessary starting point though, as it opens the door to the second, third, and fourth layer. These are where success lies.

Draw up a list of those people you already know. Consider your goals to identify who to contact and talk to first. You can’t eat a pot of soup in one sitting, networking is much the same. You will eventually contact everyone on your list, but you need a mechanism to break it down to manageable chunks.

The trick is to break into those further layers. At the end of any networking you do, think about how you could extend your networking layer further with this person. Simply saying, “can you think of anyone else you think it would be useful to talk to” works well.

How to Use Social Networking to Manage Your Brand

The downside of social networking is that online activities can affect your reputation or your personal brand without you even realizing.

Some more statistics

  • 20% of firms use social networking sites to research applicants.
  • 68% of firms use search engines to check candidates.
  • 60% of firms would check a candidate’s blog.

If you already use social networking sites, consider the following points.

  • Review all of the content you have online. Look at what’s on there through the eyes of a potential employer. What does it say about you?
  • Check your profile regularly to ensure it is up to date.
  • Think about using the “block comments” feature, as you are unable to control comments that are posted by others.
  • Think carefully before you accept anyone as a friend.
  • Consider setting your profile to “private”.
  • If you are about to start social networking for the first time:-
  • Identify your “important people”. What groups of people do you want to influence?
  • Identify how you want to be perceived?
  • Identify some short-term goals.
  • Identify how much personal information you will share on line.


Networking is long-term career management strategy. It should start long before it needs to.

The use of social networking is growing at a fast pace due to its power of references and recommendations. However, a personal face to face connection is still the most powerful.