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Making Personal Connections in Job Search

Job seekers NEED to make the personal connections in order to get hired, no matter if it is done in person or on social media. Here are some examples:

A 90-year old woman got hired after she knocked on people’s doors. As illustrated in the embedded Wall Street Journal video, the lady was not able to find a job for 15 months. Then she went to the tallest building in the neighborhood. Starting from the top floor, she knocked on the door of every business. It happened that a firm on the second floor just fired the secretary. She got the job!

A friend of mine, who is now a GM at a four-diamond, four-star resort and convention center, found his first job many years ago in a similar way: He needed a job after college. He dressed up, brought a dozen of resumes with him, and stopped by the HR office of every hotel in the city. He landed his first hotel job in a Hilton hotel.

Recently, two colleagues of mine started a new career in another institution with higher rank and better salary. The positions were not even announced --- they were hired by referral.

Occasionally, I receive inquiries from HR managers and recruiters. They would like to see if I know some good candidates for their vacancies before they announce the positions online. If a job seeker does not connect with the “right” person, s/he would have missed a lot of good opportunities.

When making personal connections, however, one must open up and be honest to others. A couple weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a student, asking me to write her a recommendation letter for a study abroad program. When I asked her for more detail information about the program, such as the country where the program is located and how she thinks the program will benefit her. She then told me that she was not able to answer my questions because by doing so, she felt she would have revealed too much of “her personal feeling” about the program. Without knowing the information I asked, how can I know if the program will benefit the student and in what ways? Likewise, a job seeker needs to open up himself/herself in order to let others to help him/her --- I was nice and wrote her a letter; but I am not going to refer anyone to any position until I sense that the person fits in the job and the organization well.

So, if you are looking for a job now, please start making personal connections with the industry professionals, no matter if it is in person or on the social networking sites. Please also note that many of these examples are about making personal connections in the physical world. Have personal connections helped you or the people you know in some way? Do you mind sharing your stories with us?

Relevant Discussions:
Social Media and Job Search
Revisit Social Media and Job Search
Social Media Job Search Tactics

Comments

  1. Michelle Bevilacqua HPM 314September 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Personal connections are a great way to gain a job. The Internet is so popular now a days and people are used to applying to jobs online and not in person. When applying for a job online, the employer has no way of knowing who the person applying really is. If that person was to go to the company and personally introduce themselves and ask for an application it is a lot more personable and it is seen as a positive tactic. I found all of the stories in the video very interesting. I think they prove everybody’s point that personal connections are key to being successful. It is very important to keep in contact with anybody that is believed to help you in your career. When staying in contact with these people they may be able to help you and give you a job referral when you need it the most.

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  2. Thank you for your feedback, sbo. I don't have the budget to promote my blog. So, being consistent is important, which means I created a "theme" for my discussions based on my expertise. Cross-reference the relevant discussions in my blog. In addition, I encourage feedback. The more audience comments and engages in a website, the better chance for a post to show up in search-engine results.

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