A recent PC Mag article explored the idea that highly skilled computers and robots may one day handle jobs now held by humans, and we may very soon become obsolete. Although advances in technology are impressive (as anyone who has seen one of the commercials featuring IBM’s Watson knows), those searching for a job should still continue their efforts. Many job seekers know that this effort includes networking with other real-life human beings, but technology can lend a helping hand in this process.
While those looking for love have been advised that they “have to kiss a lot of frogs” to find a handsome prince, the same analogy applies to finding a job. Particularly for executives who are used to being pursued by recruiters, it is often very frustrating to have to conduct hundreds of conversations to find a new job. And networking, in the traditional sense of going to a variety of different events, can frankly be tiresome and awkward. It starts to feel like kissing hundreds of frogs. Given that over 80% of jobs result from networking, most of us need to kiss all those frogs.
Some networking can easily be accomplished with some help from technology, like LinkedIn. Making sure that your LinkedIn profile is completely up to date is a simple first step you can take, and part of that updating process includes ensuring that you have connected with as many colleagues as possible. You can simply search for your business contacts by name on LinkedIn or browse through the “People you may know” section on your home page. When people accept your request connect, they will be able to see on your profile that you are seeking your next opportunity and may be able to provide some assistance. You can also utilize InMail to thank these people for connecting with you and explain your career goals if you think they would be able to help you in your search.
Email is another tool you can use to connect with those who may be able to aid you in your job hunt. Networking with these contacts is a simple 3-step process. First, make a list of all the people you know who you think might be of help in your job search. Second, prioritize them by what you think are stronger to weaker relationships. Third, as you have each conversation, make it your goal to get 2 or 3 names of people that individual thinks could be of value in your search. For every conversation it’s either a discussion about a specific job or names of people that may be of help to you. Throughout these conversations, stay on point and keep working your program.
Finally, traditional in-person networking remains a valuable part of the job search. Many college sand universities host a variety of alumni networking events. Even if you do not live within close proximity to your alma mater, they may have an active alumni chapter in your area that hosts events and meetings. Eventbrite promotes networking and other professional events in a number of cities across the US. You can search through events in your area, and even narrow the results by category (like “Business) and type (like “Networking”). You can also register for events and pay for tickets (although many are free) directly on the Eventbrite website. Topics for some upcoming events in Chicago include crowdfund investing, a leadership breakfast with the Chairman of Ariel Investments, and more.