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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014

Networking Remains the Key To Getting a Job Offer



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


People looking for work right now are having a terrible time and it's been particularly brutal for last year's college graduating class. So how should you be looking for a job?

LinkedIn has had a resurgence in popularity for networking. People are now even using the site to host videos that show who they are on the site. While Facebook has harmed a lot of reputations, people seem to be getting it right with LinkedIn.

Nowadays people are trying all kind of outlandish things to attract employers. The Wall Street Journal reports one applicant delivered a resume by carrier pigeon to try to get attention. Another did YouTube a YouTube video about 5 reasons why a company should hire him!

But in general, the outlandish approach isn't your best bet, unless maybe you're talking about getting hired with an out-of-the-box kind of technology company.

Follow these tips to jumpstart your job search

When my daughter graduated and started looking for a job, she was talking about looking on websites and online job boards. I told her not to waste her time with that approach.

I believe there's a better way: Back in 1964, people found jobs through word of mouth, relying on friends, relatives, and work colleagues to help them network. We need to get back to that kind of thing, the same kind of approach people took 50 years ago.

A story in BusinessWeek  concurs.

"Technology has had a somewhat perverse effect on job-hunting. The barriers to applying for work have fallen sharply: Once a résumé is created, job seekers can submit hundreds of applications online with zero or minimal extra cost," the publication writes. "The problem is that companies have responded with crude filtering devices, so many of those résumés remain unread."

The beauty of networking is that most jobs are filled by hirers who are likely to bring in someone they know or know of for an interview. A friend of friend, a colleague of colleague.

People think that networking is passé. No way. Today as the Great Recession marches on and as headline unemployment is still high, the reality is that getting in the door is what counts.

Nobody likes to be asked for a job, but everybody loves to give advice. So identify some key people in your industry who you can have a face-to-face meeting with and interview them for their career advice. Also, don't overlook the possibilities of doing internships.

In short, any method that gets you in front of people will work. Not trying to apply electronically to somebody who doesn't know you. Networking is core and key, every way you can think of it. That's how it gets done.

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