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Networking with bloggers

If you go to a job search support group, networking event or class, you'll hear that networking is your best path to a new job. I've always been a little dubious about the numbers people throw around, but a personal connection clearly opens doors faster than an unaccompanied résumé. Have you considered the possibility of networking with bloggers? I'm seeing more examples where they're helping clients fill positions.

I've developed a specialization in an active area of marketing and technology with healthy growth and not enough people for the open jobs. As a result, I'm starting to see job postings on blogs that don't usually talk about employment issues. Sometimes it's on a blog associated with the company, but they're also showing up on unrelated blogs, like this Marketing Director position on Jeremiah Owyang's blog.

Jeremiah's post tells you two things: First, there's obviously this opening, which you could pursue. I'll assume that you know to follow the instructions explicitly. More importantly, the blog shows that he's a well-connected consultant, and he probably knows about other companies with hiring needs. If you're interested in the things he's interested in, you might want to get on his radar. But do it the right way.

Here are some general guidelines for networking with bloggers:

Don't

  • Send a résumé unless the blogger asks for it.
  • Assume bloggers are recruiters, unless they say they are.
  • Email or call out of the blue for career advice.
Do
  • Read interesting blogs in your field and from your target companies. Use a feed reader to manage the volume and avoid missing posts.
  • Read the blog before contacting a blogger. Learn what the blogger is about first.
  • Follow any contact guidelines the blogger has posted.
  • Read the blogger's profile.
  • Leave appropriate comments on the blog before you make direct contact. Demonstrate that you read the blog and are paying attention.
  • Consider starting your own blog for the connection opportunities. Bloggers like helping other bloggers.
  • Establish a connection before asking for help. Networking is based on relationships, not transactions.
  • Remember that networking is a two-way street. How can you help the blogger?
Networking with bloggers is like networking with anyone, because bloggers are—and this is hard for some—people, but blogs make two big differences. The blog gives you tons of information before you meet: about the blogger, his interests, thoughts and contacts; and the blog creates an opportunity to meet people regardless of physical location (especially if you have your own blog). A few blogs even have their own job boards, but that's a separate topic.

Oh, and if you're interested in the things I write about on The Net-Savvy Executive, I'm hearing about job openings, too. Now that I'm not looking for a job, they're starting to find me.

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Comments (2)

Thanks, this really is a great company, and could be a wonderful opportunity.

Great job respecting the bloggers time and rules, these really fall under the rules of "how to pitch to a blogger"

It's definitely related to pitch policies, but I wonder if it suggests a new section? The pitch policies I've seen (and written) have targeted PR folks and their story pitches. Do we need a new section for jobseekers/networkers? They're doing something quite different, and the reaction to an unsolicited pitch could be different, too.

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