Use Your Social Network

There’s nothing out there. I’ve searched every site on the internet and there’s zip. Nada. Nothing. That’s it. I’m done.

He sat there in a heap. Head down, arms limp, fingers touching the floor, emotionally exhausted.

I asked him if he was networking, getting the word out about what he does and how he benefits organizations where he works. Other than slowly shaking his head, he didn’t change positions, physically or mentally.

There’s nothing out there. Website after website. Day and night.  No matches. Nothing.

I asked again, a bit sharply, “Are you networking?” (I could hear my tone rising, hoping to outshout the voice in his head). “Are you talking to the people you know and respect who might know of opportunities for you?”

He looked startled, like I just entered the room. Maybe I just entered his consciousness. “Pardon me?” he said. “Could you say that again? Something distracted me. Could you repeat it?”

I asked the same question and  maybe held his attention long enough for something to stick, but I couldn’t be sure.  Like so many thwarted job seekers, he was so focused on one way to get a job that it didn’t occur to him to consider alternatives.

Reality check:  Most companies don’t want to publicize job openings on line. It costs time and money to process thousands of email responses that have little to do with the offering or the requirements that attend it. The search process, from the employers’ perspective, can be easier, cheaper, more time effective, and far easier to manage, when they put the word out on the street, selectively, to identify candidates who match the company’s culture and criteria.

If you’re spending all your waking hours prowling the internet, hoping to find an open window that a thousand others haven’t already entered, you’re missing the doors that might be sitting ajar, at a company near you.

What should you do? Clean up, dress up, and get into conversations with people who are upbeat, social, ‘connectors’ who engage and communicate with a wide variety of contacts, all the time.

Where should you go? Wherever groups of people gather for purposeful work, volunteer for worthy causes, coordinate professional gatherings, and attend civic meetings.

What’s your goal? To be the candidate they refer when they hear of an opportunity that matches what you do best.

What do you say?  Describe what you do best and how you benefit others most. Describe yourself as a problem solver and describe the kinds of problems you solve. Be brief, direct, and memorable. Say that you’re interested in learning what’s out there and who’s out there that you need to be talking to.  Be confident but not cocky, and smart enough to know that the person you’re talking to has answers to the questions you’re asking.

Use the internet to get your story out to those interested enough to check you out. Update your professional profile and maintain a professional image on all social networking sites. Recognize that the internet is one way to job search. It’s just not the best way.

* * * *

Yes! You may use this article in your blog, newsletter or website as long as you include the following bio box:

Joyce Richman ( has been specializing in executive and career coaching since she started her own practice in 1982. She works in a variety of environments including: higher education, manufacturing, sales, marketing, media, technology, pharmaceuticals, medicine, banking and finance, service, IT, and non-profit sectors. A member of the adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership, Joyce is certified to administer a number of feedback and psychological instruments. Joyce has appeared regularly on WFMY-TV and is the career columnist for The Greensboro News & Record. She is the author of Roads, Routes and Ruts: A Guidebook to Career Success and co-author of Getting Your Kid Out of the House and Into a Job. A popular speaker, Richman conducts seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Her coaching profile can be found at