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Networking ( people not technology )

 
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One of the most important parts to a job search that I've used to better my chances of success when applying for a job or getting a job before it is advertised, has been NETWORKING. I have also noticed the quality of jobs I've gotten through "contacts" have been better than most others. I thought it would be useful to brainstorm some of the places you can mingle with other people that may increase your chances of getting a job in the future.
Being active in some role at some of these places have helped me ( not necessarily in order ):
1. Family and Friends
2. former co-workers ( and bosses )
3. Church or other religious organization
4. non-profit organizations ( like the red cross, heart and stroke foundation, etc )
5. political organizations
6. your local Chamber of Commerce ( or equivalent )
more suggestions, whether specific or general are welcomed to give others looking for work ideas to better their chances of quality employment.
Jamie
p.s. sometimes working hard on your resumes and networking is more valuable than getting certifications when you are unemployed
 
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Coincidentally, I was just giving a seminar on networking at MIT last night. We focused more on specific networking skills and only briefly touched on places, but here are some additional ones...
1) Alumni Network
Your school has an alumni club, use it!
2) Technical organizations
There's a JUG (Java User's Group) near you! Also check out other technical groups and associations like IEEE and smaller, local ones.
3)Web sites, newsgroups, and mailing lists
I've made money and connections through posting here at JavaRanch!
4) Pink Slip Parties
Here in Boston groups have held pink slip parties. It would bring together unemployed people, recruiters, and a few employers. If there's none in your area, start your own! Pick a place (like a bar, most bars would be happy to host an event at 7pm on a Tue when its usually not crowded) and invite all your unemployed friends and tell them to tell their unemployed friends (or those hiring). Have a signin sheet at the front desk and give out name tags and something color coded (be it the tag, or a wrist band, or something visible), so people can distinguish between unemployed, employed, hiring, recruiter, and other (e.g. VC).
--Mark
 
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There are also organizations specifically for job networking. In New England there's one called WIND, which has generated some possibly worthwhile contacts. It has five meeting groups, four in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire. You have to pay to attend each session, and they bring in a professional speaker. Other networking groups, particularly those that get free meeting space in public libraries, may have free admission.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Gary, can you post a link to WIND?
Thanks.
--Mark
 
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