Networking 101

You know what they say about networking, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” I don’t know who said it, so I’m not sure it’s valid. Anyway, here’s some things to know about networking.

It’s not necessarily about who you know. It’s more about who you know, who knows someone else. A network of 200 people isn’t very useful. If you ask, “Who’s hiring mechanical engineers?” The response might be, “You’re the only mechanical engineer I know.” Instead, if your question is, “who do you know, that works at an engineering firm?” It will widen your search to friends of friends who are secretaries at companies that need mechanical engineers.

It’s not necessarily about you, either. If you run into someone who’s hiring software developers, and then you run into a software developer, connect them! They will appreciate it and remember you the next time they run into someone hiring a mechanical engineer.

LinkedIn’s two purposes are: stalking your ex after he/she blocked you on facebook, and the digital follow up with people you meet at networking events. LinkedIn is a giant cesspool of vapid, meaningless, distracting, social media. Content, content everywhere, not a single useful bit of information to read. Signals should indicate something hard to quantify. Here however, the signals are just noise. It’s just a performance. Performance or not, you still have to do the dance to get your next job. Recruiters look at your history the same way they look at your facebook. LinkedIn will rank you in search results based on your activity. This is why you should like, comment, and share once a month just to keep the dust off the account.

You never know when you will need your next job. That’s why it’s important to network constantly and keep your LinkedIn profile current. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already, could you add me on LinkedIn? I’m looking to connect with mechanical engineers in Chicago or people hiring mechanical engineers in Chicago. Do you know someone who can connect me?

I’ve been networking like a boss lately. I’m keeping track of people I meet and trying to connect them. Could you shoot me an email letting me know what kind of people you’d like to meet, either professionally or personally?

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