Updated: Monday, 27 Apr 2009, 11:28 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 27 Apr 2009, 10:49 PM EDT
New Haven (WTNH) - We've all heard the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who
you know." When it comes to getting a job, networking is a critical
skill. Fortunately, these days, job-seekers have more tools than
ever to do just that.
Take Stefania Campbell for example.
She's working; there's no doubt about that. But she's not getting paid for her work. Right now, like so many people, finding a job is Campbell's full-time job.
"I got a letter last week; I was one of 500 applicants for an assistant -- an executive assistant position," said Campbell.
Tough odds, so Campbell is doing whatever she can to beat them.
"What is gonna make me shine?" asked Campbell. "What's gonna make me look the best? What's gonna make my resume stand out among hundreds?"
Campbell believes networking is a good first step. She's on the social media sites Facebook and LinkedIn, posting status updates about her situation, reconnecting with former classmates and colleagues and joining groups like "JobAngels" and "Women for Hire." She's getting job leads and personal recommendations and she's seeing results.
"I went to one interview and they mentioned the recommendations that they saw on my LinkedIn profile," Campbell said.
Quinnipiac University Senior Genna Kornweiser is also on Facebook and has tried LinkedIn. But her tool of choice is twitter.
"I have it on my Blackberry; I'm on it all the time," said Kornweiser.
Kornweiser will graduate in May with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing. She's been trying to line up a job but she hasn't had much luck.
"The big trend we've seen is no response whatsoever. It's not we 'can't hire you', it's not 'we won't hire you', it's just nothing," said Kornweiser.
But on twitter, Kornweiser said she is getting somewhere.
The site has become very popular with job seekers. Search "job" or "jobs" on twitter, and you'll find links to many listings.
But Kornweiser said it's even more valuable as a platform where
she's able to network with a large number of people with whom she
shares common interests.
"There's a lot of people talking about jobs right now; there's a lot of journalists out there, there's a lot of PR professionals on there. And if they don't have something available, they're referring you to other people," said Kornweiser.
Quinnipiac University Professor Rich Hanley says that's the beauty of social media sites. It's why he teaches his students how to use it for more than just "being social."
"Your megaphone reaches a much broader audience than it does through the United States Postal Service or through your geographic network, which tends to be limited," said Hanley.
But perhaps, more important, companies that are hiring expect you to be using sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter -- they want to know you're tuned in to technology.
People have been using the net to surf for jobs for years. They turn to sites like Monster.com, Career Builder.com and indeed.com. Now those sites are trying to keep up with the changing ways people are using the web.
Tim Dineen is the online marketing manager at indeed.com.
"We're trying to be a part of the whole process," said Dineen. "If people need a job search today, we're there for them. And if people want to interact further, we want to be able to help them do that."
Dineen said indeed.com has been integrating social media sites into its job searches; allowing users to scan for contacts they may know at companies to which they're applying.
That's something Campbell finds particularly helpful. Because as she builds her network online, she continues the conversation offline. She's hoping all the work will eventually lead to a job.
"I'm staying connected, I'm having coffees and lunches and emails and people are always checking in on me and broadening their networks and broadening connections for me. So, I'm staying positive," said Campbell.
Because, as Campbell said, you never know who may come through with the lead that leads to a job.