Find Your Next Job Through a Different Kind of Networking

November 28, 2009

How many times have you heard that “networking” is the only way to find a job in this economy. Or that 70% of the people who are getting hired found the opportunity by “networking?” So how does this work?

Many people think of networking like a bad Seinfeld episode – obnoxious people cornering some poor guy, like George, at a party and going on and on about their great job, their sky rocketing career, their wonderful life, and, “Oh, yeah – what did you say you do?”

Maybe if people had a few simple tools in those situations, it could actually be fun. Like a simple 3 part script: (1) Hi, I’m George Costanza and (2) I enjoy helping companies see their projects completed on time and under budget, and (3) have a good time doing it!”

Or for those that are uncomfortable in social settings like this, networking also includes one on one meetings over coffee, using social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to find someone who may know someone at your target company.

In fact, this is a very effective way to get in front of a hiring manager: Identify the company you want to work for, identify the types of positions you would like to have, then if there is a position (or similar type job) posted on their website, now the fun begins.

Use the Companies feature in LinkedIn and you’ll see people in your network who may work there or have worked there. More likely there will be people who are 2nd or 3rd degree connections. By clicking on them, you’ll see who in your network is connected to them.

Then, call or email them and ask for an introduction to the person you want to meet. You’ll be surprised at how helpful people in your network are – even if you are not close to them.

Now, they have introduced you to someone who can possibly help you – offer to buy them coffee at Starbucks or at a place of their choosing and get to know them with a series of simple, but powerful questions (more on that at a later time.)

What’s the worst that can happen by doing this? You may not get any introductions – you’re no worse off than you are now, but at least you’ve taken some action. Or, you may have gotten the introduction, but no response from the target person. Again, no worse off, but at a later date, the target person may remember your reaching out.

And how hard is any of this? Do you think you can try this kind of networking? It may just land you your next dream job.

For a very concrete example of how this type of networking works, read this post from WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking blog.

JP Headshot1JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. He is also a career and financial coach, has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations, most recently helping those in transition. His philosophy is to help others be more successful and to enjoy the benefits of meeting new people.

JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile

Personal Branding Tale – Part 2

November 9, 2009

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Here’s Chad Levitt’s follow up to the Personal Branding Tale a few days ago… this time it’s focused on getting promoted, or continuing to stand out once you have been hired and making yourself indispensable. Many people succeed in getting hired, but then don’t last a year because they didn’t continue the networking within their new company and therefore became expendable when times got tough.

Chad’s stories are powerful reminders that we must always be finding ways to add value whatever it is we do.


You have been working at your new job for six months and you are really enjoying being with this company. The job challenges you and you have responded to every challenge so far.

You have created a reputation for yourself with your co-workers as reliable, consistent and accountable. You have shown the ability to think strategically and have executed on all tasks that have been given to you.

Because of your solid reputation, you were recently asked to work on a new project that will have manager level exposure and help determine the future vision for the company. You will have a very minor role and it will require long hours but you gladly accept the offer to be on the project.

As you work on the new project with the different members of the team you being to add them to your LinkedIn network and soon others at the company are finding you on LinkedIn too.

Then one evening while working on some last minute action items a colleague of yours sits down in your cube and says, “I’m really enjoying your blog – keep up the great work”.

You are blown away because you have not told anybody about your blog. You ask how your colleague came across your blog and she says I clicked the link on your LinkedIn profile. You say thanks for reading and continue with your work.

Over the next few months more of your colleagues begin to comment on your blogging and slowly but surely your ideas are spreading through different circles of influence at the company.

Then one morning you get into the office quite early to hammer out a few pending items that need to be submitted by the close of business today.

You open up Outlook and begin checking your email – one email catches your eye because of who sent it. It is the boss of Mrs. I’m Hiring who originally hired you for the job and she would like to meet with you next week.

You of course accept the invitation.

You show up for your meeting with Mr. I’m Promoting dressed for success and more then a little curious. Mr. I’m Promoting invites you to sit down and lets you know he was told about your blog and that he has enjoyed your vision on certain topics of interest to him.

You and Mr. I’m Promoting hit it off great and the meeting goes for a solid hour. Before heading back to your desk Mr. I’m Promoting lets you know that a new position is opening up and asks if you would be interested in interviewing for the opportunity.

You of course say yes.

he interview process kicks off and despite the other two candidates having more experience you are selected for the new opportunity.

Mr. I’m Promoting lets you know that your work at the company so far combined with your great ideas on your blog make you a perfect fit for the new opportunity. Mr. I’m Promoting gives you his vote of confidence and only asks that you execute on your ideas and over communicate with him.

You look him in the eyes, shake his hand firmly and head for your new office on a career path filled with opportunity and potential – as long as you execute.

Go execute.


Chad Levitt is the author of the New Sales Economy blog, which focuses on how Sales 2.0 & Social Media can help you connect, create more opportunities and increase your business. Chad is also the featured Sales 2.0 blogger at, the number one web portal for sales pros, the professional athletes of the business world. Make sure to connect with him on Twitter @chadalevitt.

A Personal Branding Tale

November 7, 2009

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We all love stories, right? I remember how my daughter always wanted a story before she fell asleep. I always enjoyed reading or creating stories for her before she drifted off.

Stories are powerful – maybe the most effective way to communicate an idea or concept. In fact, the Bible is a collection of stories, so there must be something to this.

Years ago, I came across a book titled “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt. It is a business management book (how come so many of them are very dry and boring) but this one is different. It is a novel set in a factory, about a manager in trouble at work and at home, and from the first page, you’re hooked. The message is a simple one but told as a story. Of all the business books I’ve read over the years, “The Goal” stands out as one of my favorites because of how the message was delivered as a very compelling story.

Personal Branding blogger Chad Levitt gets his personal branding message across in a very compelling story about a job candidate and the hiring manager. Read on…
A Personal Branding Tale

* By: Chad Levitt on October 31st, 2009 at 5:15 am

Once upon a time….

You have been looking for a new job for months and you just landed an interview with a great company doing something you love.

On the day of the interview you put on your best business attire and head out the door – you look like a true professional.

On the drive to the interview you listen to some music you like to calm yourself or pump yourself up – whatever floats your boat.

You pull into the parking lot feeling excited and walk into the lobby feeling confident, cool and collected.

You walk up to the receptionist and pronounce your name clearly. You let the receptionist know you are here for an interview with Ms. I’m Hiring.

As you sit in the lobby you keep telling yourself that this job is yours for the taking and before you know it Ms. I’m Hiring walks into the lobby and calls your name.

You and Ms. I’m hiring walk to the corner office and you sit down ready to kick off a great interview.

The interview goes great – you have good business and personal rapport going with Ms. I’m Hiring and Ms. I’m Hiring can tell you have done your research on the company.

Everything seems like a fit and you have clearly expressed your desire for the job and Ms. I’m Hiring believes that you are a good candidate for the position. Ms. I’m Hiring ends the interview by saying you will know who received the job within a few days.

Ms. I’m Hiring heads back to the corner office feeling good about the candidates she has interviewed but realizes she has a very tough decision on her hands.

Ms. I’m Hiring reviews her notes from the all the interviews and has identified the top three candidates for the position – you are one of the candidates.

Ms. I’m Hiring reviews the top three resumes and they are equally good. She reviews the work experience for the top candidates and they are all equally qualified. She goes over each interview with the top three candidates and they were all equally good as well.

Feeling stressed Ms. I’m Hiring decides to leave the office and go home for an early evening jog to think things over – after all the weather is beautiful outside. She gets back from her jog and she still has not made a decision – the candidates are all so good.

Just before bed Ms. I’m Hiring decides to Google the candidates to see what she finds on the top three candidates.

She enters candidate number one’s name and finds nothing.

She enters candidate number two’s name and finds nothing.

She enters your name and finds your professional blog and personal website.

She reads some of your posts and really likes your creativity and ideas.

Ms. I’m Hiring closes her laptop, goes to bed and sleeps peacefully.

The next day you receive a phone call and Ms. I’m Hiring says – you are hired – I really enjoyed your blog. When can you start?

You say today.

When will you start creating your personal brand?

How about today?


Chad Levitt is the author of the New Sales Economy blog, which focuses on how Sales 2.0 & Social Media can help you connect, create more opportunities and increase your business. Chad is also the featured Sales 2.0 blogger at, the number one web portal for sales pros, the professional athletes of the business world. Make sure to connect with him on Twitter @chadalevitt.