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It’s All About Who You Know

September 27, 2011

Monster art{Monster Art : whimsicalFantasy}

He will eat your resume.

I learned it the hard way. I wasted time on countless job search sites, just looking for my “big break.” Hoping one of those dream jobs would pick me. What I didn’t know was, those jobs already had candidates, ones who had connections within the company.  They were always one step ahead of me. CareerBuilder and Monster are just backup, and they help the company more than they will help you. You have a better chance of getting weeded out than getting your resume in front of the right person.

Every job I ever had, I got because I knew someone.

In college I started babysitting two wonderful little girls, all because my roommate had a hot date one night and referred me to stay with them instead. I got my first restaurant job at Newks Café because my sorority sister worked there. I snagged one of two open graphic design positions at The Crimson White my senior year at Alabama – it didn’t hurt that the creative manager was in my design class and saw my work every week in critiques.

After graduation I moved to Cincinnati and forgot this. It took me nine months to get a job in my industry, partly because I was wasting time with online job tools. But everything else I was doing still proved this fact. I started working as a hostess at Bravo, because I walked in and got an application directly from the manager. I was also doing freelance work for my husband’s company. I used this small amount of graphic design work to show and improve my skills, which is how I got my current position at Frontgate – through my husband’s boss’ nephew, who worked there at the time. You see, it doesn’t hurt to know someone!

If this makes you feel discouraged in your job search, don’t be.

This time last year, I would get really down when I read articles like this, because I didn’t think I knew anyone in Cincinnati. Later I found out I could change that if I put myself out there. I had to get out of the house. I had to meet people.

Everyone you know is a possible connection.

You just have to make it known that you are searching for a job. Soon enough you will find that people want to help you. A family member might know the hiring manager at just the type of company you want to work for. A friend may offer to submit your resume to their boss. My banker even tried to get me a job at his wife’s company! The more people you meet and the more relationships you develop, the better chance you have at getting a great job.

You never know what can happen if you make the effort.

Trust me, it’s a lot more efficient than spending hours sending resumes and cover letters into the void that is CareerBuilder. That Monster will gobble them right up.

Taking advantage of your network is just the first step to getting noticed by a company. Next is the impression you make in the interview and of course your skills and talents. Connections can only take you so far. After that you have to show up and do your best.

Have you searched for hours on job sites before finally giving up? Tell me an example of a great job you got through someone in your network. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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