[11.25.08]
23 great comments!

The #1 Networking Tool During Hard Times

I’ll be honest.  I’ve been struggling. Sharing job leads has been a challenge. Until now.

sharing job leads, watchlyst, job search tool, career networking, help others

I’m struggling to keep up with the requests of recruiters and job seekers who are networking with me to either find appropriate jobs or find appropriate candidates for current jobs.
I’m not saying that I am popular in this sense.  And it’s not that the number of requests is in the hundreds. I know that recruiters and career coaches are being overwhelmed with requests as the economy hands out more layoff notices each week.  I am only getting my share of requests because I have actively helped people in the past.

Here’s my problem with sharing job leads:

I need a simple system to connect the needs/desires of job seekers with the specs/requirements of recruiter or other networked jobs.
I belong to a number of job networks that provide daily e-mails of new jobs – many of them not recruiter driven.  Often these are the ones you don’t hear about on Monster, Career Builder or Indeed. Part of the problem is that the information comes in from multiple sources (phone, e-mail, conversation, etc) and my ability to cross-reference everything is limited.

Here’s a scenario where I’m sharing job leads:

I see anywhere from 15-30 new jobs a day on these networks for positions in Southern California.  Each nicely spells out the job requirements, location, title, industry of the position.  I then have to dig back through all of the information, e-mails, resumes, notes to find the job seekers who asked for my help.  It is painful.
In the end, sometimes I can’t do it.  We’re all busy, right?
So you’ve probably guessed that the #1 networking tool during hard times is helping friends, family, former co-workers and other worthy folks find their next job.  Whether you are employed or working at the time, it simply does not matter.
It also does not matter whether you are successful in this endeavor.  Your effort will be remembered and the value to you is two-fold.  First, you get to help someone solve a significant problem.  Second, this person, once re-employed, will do anything to help you in the future.  You become a person of interest, not just someone they met while out of work.
Also, as Bill Murray’s character in Caddy Shack famously said:

“Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness”

So, how did I solve this problem?  A simple spreadsheet for sharing job leads.  I call my solution the Watchlyst™ (see logo above). How it works:
1.  Simply enter the information for each of your contacts who are looking, print it out and keep it in your briefcase or next to your computer.
2.  Every time a job comes across your e-mail, take a quick look at your Watchlyst and quickly compare for a match.  If you get one, send a quick e-mail with a link to the job and a helpful “Good luck!”.
3.  When recruiters call, you can quickly say, yes, I know someone or no, no one in my network fits that description.  Recruiters will appreciate a quick answer.
4.  As new friends ask for your support, make sure they help you fill in every box on this form.  Any unfilled box means you are one key piece of information short in helping them find their next role.
Sharing Job Leads
If you like this simple tool, send it on to a friend.  But whether you use this tool or simply tap your photographic memory (my oldest son is that way, too), please take the time to network by helping others.
Download the Watchlyst on my  career downloads page now.
For those of you technically minded folks, I am also thinking about a piece of software that will make sharing job leads earier. It will do the linking for you, creating an auto-email.  Even easier!

So, help a friend.  There will be plenty of thanks to go around.


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking

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