Friday, October 23, 2009

Debunking Job Networking Myths for College Grads

Myth #2: You need to know some heavy hitter or the Director of HR to network.

In order to network, you simply need someone – anyone – in the company to pass your resume on to HR. It doesn’t need to be an employee in the department that interests you, and it doesn’t need to be a senior executive.

In fact, when I worked at Leo Burnett, I actually preferred recommendations from more junior employees. Let’s be honest, the CEO’s country club’s friend’s daughter’s college roommate probably hasn’t been vetted by the CEO. But the Account Executive’s buddy, who has worked at a competitive agency, is probably a much better candidate.

Just make sure you find someone at the company to pass along your resume.

Myth #3: You need to know tons of connected people to network.

You may be surprised with how big your network is once you expand your perspective. In fact, you probably have more connections than you think for job networking. Just consider a few of these:

□ Your friends
□ Your parents
□ Your parents’ friends
□ Your friends’ parents
□ Your neighbors
□ Your dentist
□ Your hairstylist
□ Your personal trainer
□ Your old colleagues
□ Your old professors

If there’s a company where you really want to land a job, make sure you start talking to anyone you know to find the connection. It’s called six degrees of separation. Sure, you may not know anyone at Google, but does anyone you know know someone who works there?

Don’t forget your college career center – even if you graduated years ago. At some schools, alumni organizations provide amazing resources and opportunities. Also, don’t be shy about using LinkedIn or even Facebook to find contacts.

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By Brad Karsh, President of JobBound

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