Thursday, December 13, 2012

Social Networks and the Job Search

I recently went through the difficult experience of losing my job. After only 7 months in the position, the company had a significant change in direction and a number of us were let go. I am currently looking for a new opportunity.

In the past, the job search would have gone something like this:
  1. Grab the classified ads section of your local paper
  2. Find potential openings
  3. Mail resume and cover letter to potential employers
  4. Wait for invitation to interview
  5. Repeat  steps 1-4.
Today, with the plethora of online services and the ability to apply online, it seems so much easier than before. But is it really? Now, with the ease of applying online, potential employers receive dozens (if not hundreds) of applications. How can any one recruiter or HR person really deal with that quantity? The short answer is: they can't.

Other than a few friends whom I contacted directly, I chose to communicate my change in status through an InMail in LinkedIn. So my first reaction was not to begin applying and waiting but to reach out to my professional (social) network on LinkedIn. The response and support from the community has been terrific. It's made the process so much easier (emotionally) because there is a connection, most of which were a result of a face to face interaction. While it's hard to say where I will land and how effective this approach will be, I plan continue to use this tool as I explore any and all opportunities.