Connect the Dots

The importance of networking extends beyond the obvious Ask anyone in the “jobs” business (i.e. recruiters, HR, etc.) and they will wax eloquently about the importance of networking. Few will argue with that. Yet many job seekers tell woeful tales of attending event after event, meeting after meeting, and all of the contacts they encounter along the way, no one has produced a job or even an interview.

So then, if networking is all that important, how is it that so many people come up empty when they play the networking game? What is it about them that produces so few results? Chances are that there is nothing wrong with the individuals in question. The problem may lie in how they go about playing the networking game. In short, they don’t connect the dots. And what are the dots? Think back to those puzzles you played when you were young. Use your pencil to connect dots… drawing lines to connect one to two, two to three, three to four, etc. and when you’re done… Voila! You had a picture. Networking can be quite similar. Person A knows Person B who knows Person C who used to work with Person D, etc. The successful networker makes those connections and, in the end, ends up with the job. All those jobs that people get through networking – and most professionals agree that networking is the number one tool in a job search – are seldom secured through that first contact. Jobs are found in the outer ripples of networking. Some call it working the system. Others call it just plain networking.

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