Networking is key to finding new job

Robin Hamilton | 3/18/2009, 6:28 a.m.

Amy said she has adopted that strategy in her search.

“I never send an anonymous résumé,” Amy explained, adding that she pools resources available through social networking sites.

“I’ve been online,” she said. “I’ve been adding people to my LinkedIn network. I’ve been making a concerted effort to put everyone’s info in a centered space.”

Robinson likewise encourages clients to use their resources through LinkedIn, which she called a solid resource. She also listed a number of local networking groups that people can go to in order to find leads, such as Wednesday is Networking Day, or WIND, CareerMoves, ExecuNet and MarksGuide. All of these groups have Web sites and are worth checking out, she said.

There’s another strategy that Robinson encourages her clients to employ — if they can muster the emotional strength.

“When my clients call me and tell me that they are about to get fired, I tell them when that conversation comes, say something like, ‘I know it’s tough for you. Can I call you in a week and ask about using you as a reference?’” Robinson said.

While it may not sound like an easy thing to do, Robinson stressed that leaving gracefully is the first part of moving forward in a positive way. (Of course, it is easier to do this if you are leaving on good terms.)

After spending years as a human resources manager before running her own company, Robinson has firsthand experience of what it’s like to be on the other side of the firing line. Believe it or not, she said, the person doing the firing is likely having a difficult time too, so making the conversation a little easier is a smart move.

“Say something like, ‘I understand this is a business decision. I know this must have been tough,’” she said.

The reference that might result could come in handy down the line.

Amy did not employ the strategy herself, but her own methods of networking seem to be working out — she already has two upcoming interviews with potential employers and said she is keeping her fingers crossed.

To learn more about Kathy Robinson’s career coaching services at Turning Point, visit her Web site at www.turningpointboston.com.