The Many Forms of Networking

Plum Creative

Plum Creative

Before the internet was commercialized, job seekers used to look for jobs through newspapers, headhunter agencies, and most importantly, networking with members in the industries they were interested in. Networking will always remain important when job seekers are looking for a position. 

With the technological innovation that come with the digital age, companies now can post their job position offerings in their official website, job boards, or professional networking sites and wait for job seekers to apply. For most corporations in the US, it may attract more applicants to posted job openings online instead of newspapers since there are far more internet users than people who still read newspaper in paper form. Now-a-days, whether is be Fortune 500 companies, small startups, or even local businesses, almost every employer is utilizing the digital platforms to hire talents. Fortunately, millennials are the generation which utilizes vast extents of social media in their lives and is no stranger to the thought that social media can be used as a networking platform for their career too.

In the US, social media is widely used in the hiring process. In Twitter, #job, #career, and #hiring are popular hashtags used when businesses are trying to fill in their empty positions. Depending on the job or industry type, hashtags like #transportation, #tourism, and #engineering may be used as well. Also, location hashtags like #SanAntonio and #NYC are used when companies are hiring locally in those cities. On Facebook, large corporations often post their job openings through their company page’s status updates. Followers with the desires of taking such positions can apply by following the post’s direction. Occasionally, we can even see our friends’ posts about job openings in their current company via their Facebook status updates. Because of this, it allows some online networking activities to be done for both the job seeker and the employers within the chatting features of multiple websites. As official pages of large corporations usually possess a large number of followers on social media, the news of recruiting can be spread quickly throughout the internet. Links to the companies at the end of a tweet or post usually provide a proverbial gateway into that company’s network. 

After all, LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for hiring and job hunting in the US. Most LinkedIn users are trying to present their most professional side to the public. LinkedIn had more than 433 million users across the globe in August 2016, and the number is still increasing. With 70% of the users based in the US, there’s almost no better database for American companies and headhunters to pick their best job applicants online. Human resource managers can look through detailed working and education history, skill sets, participated projects, publications, and honors received by each job applicants. In most cases, LinkedIn profiles are much more detailed than any one page resumes.    

At the same time, it is more convenient for job seekers to send large quantity of resumes to different companies to increase their chance of landing on a job. Job seekers also can use referrals or connections in LinkedIn which are working for the company they wanted join. Referrals and connections can be very helpful on landing on the job because it gives some level of trust to the employer. There’s no limit to how many referrals can be utilized; the more, the merrier. 

Besides networking online, it’s also a necessity for job seekers to network with employers offline. Even in the age of internet, more than 80% of the jobs were landed through networking, rather than posting resumes on job board websites. Perhaps this can explain the enormous supply of “networking tips articles” online and the phenomenon of how most online job applications end up in the “resume black hole” - the place where most digital resumes that won’t be replied by human resources reside in. The benefit of having a good conversation at a networking event is that it allows the employer to know more about job applicants. Joining networking events and having conversations with representatives from the companies can greatly increase the chance of being hired, despite the flourish in online networking.