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Contacts and Networking | Networking Web Sites
Contacts and Networking
 
 
Networking Web Sites
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Networking Sites Advice & Article List
Networking Web Sites are sites specifically set up for networking. Examples are LinkedIn, MySpace, Friendster, ICQ, Tribe, Chicwit, and Monster Networking. Each is a bit different from the others, but all are sites that have been set up in acknowledgement of the power of networking in business (and other) relationships, and job-hunting certainly not the least of these.

Networking sites can be a great way of establishing contacts and relationships as part of your job hunt. But there are many, many networking sites, and competition is fierce. MySpace is growing at a phenomenal rate, Friendster says it's going to start adding job hunting resources, Google jumps in with their Orkut site, Tickle claims 18 million members (yeah, right) - and not one of these sites is connected to any other. The resultant networks are completely isolated. So if you are going to use this route in your job hunt, you should probably choose just one or two sites to use in building your network.

Tools For Career Networking
An excellent list of various networking resources available on the Internet.

Networking Services Meta List
Here you will find lists of hundreds of networking sites: business networking, common interest networking, dating, meeting facilitation sites. Very extensive.

Networking Resources by State
Job-Hunt has a list here of links to networking resources, organized by state.

Guide to Online Networks
This page, from the Online Business Networks Web site, has summaries and full reviews of a number of business networking sites.

LatPro
LatPro is a job board for Latin and Hispanic professionals. Here, on its Resources page, are some links to sites that can help with networking during your job-hunt.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an excellent business network site. In form, it is similar to the others; in implementation, superior. When you sign up (registration is free), you enter your basic information - field, job title, geographic area, and so on - and indicate what kind of connections you are looking for, and what kind of incoming contacts you are willing to accept. For example, if you currently own a business, you can indicate that you are open to inquiries about employment at your business, but naturally you don't want people sending you job offers for yourself.LinkedIn also allows you to contact people who are not in your network, if they have said they are willing to accept such contacts (and naturally, you may do the same). And by the way: over 50,000 of LinkedIn's registrants consider themselves job-hunters, even if their current employers do not.

Tribe
Tribe is very similar to LinkedIn, but takes a larger worldview. Why limit your network contacts to just business? What about when you need to buy a used car - would you rather buy from a stranger, or from a friend of a friend? If you are looking for a roommate, would you rather run a newspaper ad, or find candidates among your network? If you need a new dentist, whose recommendation are you more likely to trust? This is what Tribe is about. As with other networking sites, you invite people to join, you have easy access out to four degrees, etc. But at Tribe, your network - of course, here it is called your Tribe - can be used for many purposes. Job-hunting is, of course, included, and the site even has job postings. But you also can use your Tribe for buying and selling, housing, recommendations, special interests, and so on. There are even messaging forums, for common interest discussions among registrants.

Monster Networking
The well-known job site has a networking area. You post your profile, indicate the kind of people you want to hook up with, search for other Monster Networkers by skills, company, interests, and occupation. Honestly, I still think they have a few bugs to work out of this portion of the site. Though meant for business, it has a bit of a dating feel to it (why would I upload my photo for a potential business relationship?). The message boards in the networking area are not well policed either; there were stay-at-home-and-make-a-fortune-with-your-computer type ads posted when I was there last. But Monster is a pretty good company. I anticipate they will get this right, in time, so if you're already signed with Monster anyway, check the site every now and then.

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More On Networking Sites Advice & Article List
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Networking sites generally work as follows: You sign up at the site, giving certain information that you want others to know about you, and what will help others to assist you (i.e., I am job hunting, and am looking for a job in industry X). You then go on to invite people to enter your network - you cannot draw people in unless they actively want to be included. As the people that you know join, and the people they know join, your network grows. At most sites, your network is defined as a maximum of four levels, or degrees: out to a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend. For example, if only 5 people join at each level, that is still a network of 625 people. In reality, it is likely to be far more. Each site has various methods of making sure that you don't get contacted by people who will only waste your time, and there are usually mechanisms to make sure that you don't use a reference you have no right to use. For example, if you want to contact a friend of a friend, that middle friend must usually set up the link - you can't start mass mailing to people who are three degrees away.

It doesn't take much experience with Networking sites to see that this is all about trust. When you are inviting people to join your network, you should only invite the people you know well, and trust. If a friend that you invited in starts trying to sell herbal vitamins to the rest of your network, it's going to come back on you. The people you invite in are counting on your recommendation that all of the people you have invited in are trustworthy; and so it goes, out through all your degrees, and into other people's. Don't invite your sister's no-good kid, just to pad the numbers.

I'll say it again for emphasis: when you invite someone in to your network, you are inviting them into not just your network, but the networks of the hundreds and thousands of people who connect to you. These people are all "every one of them" depending on your judgment about those you have invited, just as you are depending on theirs. The system collapses if the people involved are not truthful, reliable, consistent, and principled.

Tools For Career Networking
An excellent list of various networking resources available on the Internet.

Networking Services Meta List
Here you will find lists of hundreds of networking sites: business networking, common interest networking, dating, meeting facilitation sites. Very extensive.

Networking Resources by State
Job-Hunt has a list here of links to networking resources, organized by state.

Guide to Online Networks
This page, from the Online Business Networks Web site, has summaries and full reviews of a number of business networking sites.

LatPro
LatPro is a job board for Latin and Hispanic professionals. Here, on its Resources page, are some links to sites that can help with networking during your job-hunt.

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