I’m networking like crazy... but I still don’t have a job

I’ve had lunch or coffee with at least 15 different people including ex-colleagues, ex-vendors and people I met at networking events, and I still don’t have a job.

When I meet with someone to network, I bring my resume and I walk through it with them.

I tell them what kind of job I’m looking for and they say they’ll spread the word or they’ll keep their eyes open for opportunities for me. Sometimes, they give me a company they think I should approach, but if they don’t know anyone who works there how does that help me?

What can I do to make my job search networking more effective? Right now it seems like a waste of my time.

A lot of people have the wrong idea about job search networking. They think if they meet with enough people, someone will say “I know a guy who wants to hire you!” The problem is that networking doesn’t work that way.

Networking isn’t a transaction, or a series of transactions. You have to build real relationships with people over time to make your networking effective.

The ironic thing is that people who network for the fun of it or to help other people get incredible benefits from it. When you ask someone to donate their precious time and attention to you by having lunch or coffee with you, you are asking for a big favour.

You can’t go to the networking meeting and force the poor person to walk through your resume with you. I’m sure your background is fantastic, but why would your networking partner care about the details of your work history?

Instead, try meeting people for coffee and making the meeting all about them - not you. People love to talk about themselves, the same way you love to tell people about your job search.

Ask them questions about what they’re working on and what’s new in their lives. They will blossom when you show a real interest in them. Then at a certain time in the meeting, they are likely to ask “But what about you? How can I help you?”

Then you will talk about your job search, like this: You spent most of your networking coffee time hearing about your friend’s challenges with her Welsh corgi puppies, but in the last three minutes before you parted she offered to make a fantastic introduction for you.

Networking is about building glue between two people - not about pushing your agenda down someone else’s throat, as tempting as it can be to do that!

Try easing up on the “help me get a job” sales pitch in your upcoming networking meetings, and see how both you and your friend relax! Networking makes one get great ideas and moral support from your pals.

Related Topics

job hunting