How does on properly "network" when looking for a new job?
March 11, 2013 8:16 AM Subscribe
When job searching, how do you successfully network without looking tacky, blowing your cover at your current job, looking desperate - just general rules for avoiding acting in poor taste, whatever that would look like?
posted by windbox to Work & Money (5 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I am currently employed in an industry that is very "networky" already, though I usually do not attend networking events because it is mostly just so buyers and vendors can all get together and find new business/new partners. I also never have anyone to go with me and get paranoid standing around by myself.
I am aggressively looking for a new job these days though, so I'm trying to think as outside the box as I can here. I've already contacted old coworkers to see if they know of anything and it's led to an interview, but the job wasn't a good fit. I also responded to a recruiter who reached out to me on LinkedIn which led to two interviews, but it didn't go anywhere afterward. In conclusion though - unsurprisingly - actually talking to people has gotten me interviews more than applying to places online and on linkedin which sort of just feels like sending my resume and cover letter into a black hole, no matter how carefully I tailor them. So - I am trying to talk to more people.
My question is, is there a way to go to these networking events and make it clear that I'm looking to change jobs? Is that desperate, tacky and off-putting? Is it wrong to go on behalf of my company without letting them know I am attending? Am I leading someone on (for instance, a vendor) if we connect at a networking event and they see that I was only interested in job opportunities, not doing business? Sorry, I've been working professionally for about 3 years now and still don't understand all the social norms around this so I'm paranoid about breaking them - would hate to tell people "well actually I'm here because I'm looking to see who might be hiring, I'm looking to change jobs - do you know of any openings?" and just looking really off-putting.
Any advice on this? Also, if anyone knows of more creative ways to job search while still employed, I'd love to know.