Learning to Network

February 10, 2010 at 9:53 PM (Happenings, Musings, work) (, , , )

Yesterday morning, I attended a job seeker/ networking breakfast and panel hosted by the Publicity Club of New England, or the PubClub.  Like every other PubClub panel I’ve attended, the participants were experienced and thought-provoking:

Joe Burke, Text 100Pubclub Publicity Club of New England
Priscilla Claman, Career Strategies Incorporated
Ted Chaloner, Chaloner Associates
Joe Pothier, The Boston Beer Company
Jodi R. R. Smith, Mannersmith
Liz Woodhouse, Schwartz Communications
Kirk Hazlett, Curry College (moderator)

PR, HR and etiquette specialists alike all had valuable points to make regarding résumés, networking, social media and informational views: some dos, don’ts, and of course some anecdotal gems.  I attend such functions to learn, and what better way to learn than to share with others?

For instance, when it comes to events, networking or otherwise, be on time (or close, at least).  Not only is it courteous, but I’m sure I also would have enjoyed breakfast.  Tardiness also makes you memorable in a perhaps less desirable way.

There is no one job market, according to Ms. Priscilla Claman.  Rather, there are several markets, characterised by industry, geography, expertise, and so on.  If you’re targeting one gargantuan mass of a job market, you’re going to a) waste a lot of effort and b) not learn anything of much use anyway.  Find your market(s), and focus accordingly.  Not sure where or what your markets are?  Contact your friendly PubClub or PRSA representatives!  Chances are they’ll be happy to help, and they may even be able to offer a lead.

Gone is the stigma of the sixth-month gap on the résumé, Jodi R. R. Smith assured attendees . . . but that doesn’t mean interviewers won’t be able to figure out what you were or were not doing with that time.  Given the economy of the moment, it’s understandable that not everyone is employed sans gaps.  That said, when unemployed, don’t spend the downtime sitting on your posterior.  When a recruiter asks you what you’ve been doing with your time off, have a constructive answer: traveling, learning web design and HTML, volunteering, something.

LinkedIn logoUnderestimate not the power of LinkedIn, quoth Yoda (okay, he wasn’t there, but all panelists conceded on this one).  Once you’ve created your network with contacts in the real world, it’s your job to stay in touch with those contacts. LinkedIn makes this task incredibly easy.  Not only can you just shoot a quick E-mail via the site, you can also use your contacts to find possible leads.  Remember, a referred candidate will likely get more notice than random résumé #22.  LinkedIn also allows you to link to your blog, Twitter page and website, so recruiters can research you quickly more efficiently (so keep everything clean!).

Be your own PR person in your search for a PR job (sorry non-PR kids, but feel free to read anyway!).  That was the wise advice of Joe Burke, particularly for those of us who are fresh out of university and don’t have a portfolio full of success stories to tout.  Make your search strategy your success story.  Are you searchable?  Are your promoting the right expertise to the right people?

While a lot more information was shared yesterday, I think those were some pretty significant points.  Want to learn more?  Keep an eye on the PubClub’s blog: as far as I know, someone will post on it soon!  Still intrigued?  The next PubClub event will take place on Tuesday, February 23: Social Media Case Studies.  Click the link, read up, sign up and stop by!

Today’s Tunes
“Gimme Some Lovin’,” The Spencer Davis Group
“Forever,” Chris Brown
“Levon,” Elton John
“Pa’Bailar,” Bajofondo
“Chambermaid Swing,” Parov Stelar
“Satellite,” Dave Matthews Band
“Ooh La La,” Goldfrapp
“Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” Moby
“That’s the Way of the World,” Earth, Wind & Fire
“Ain’t No Sunshine,” Bill Withers
“Milk,” Kings of Leon

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1 Comment

  1. PubClub: Social Media Case Studies, Part I « And Here, We Have My Musings said,

    […] my last PubClub event keyed in on the benefits of LinkedIn as a networking tool, this one focused a bit more on Facebook […]

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