Networking: Finding People Who Can Help You Find a Job

Networking is the best possible way to find a job. You can start networking with people you already know, but what happens once you have talked to everyone you know?

You need a B List, names of people given to you by someone you know or a name you find by doing some research. Your B List contains the names of people you don’t already know, but people you believe have information or contacts that will help your job search. There are many ways to get names for your list. The ideas below are just to get you started.

Contact your alumnae association
Ask if there is a directory of alumni. These often include information on where a graduate is working.

Contact the local or national chapter of any trade or professional association related to your industry.
Ask about getting a copy of the membership roster. Most associations restrict access to current members.

Go to the web sites of companies where you want to work
Look for names in the “About…” pages or the press pages. These same pages will have the company address and telephone numbers. They may include email address for individuals.

Call a company
Use the main information number and ask the receptionist if she can give you the names of people who hold jobs at the company in your field of interest. These might be department heads or others.

Contact your school or college career center
Ask if they have a list of the company recruiters that use the center’s services or do campus recruiting. Faith Rothenberg, currently President for Strategic Development at, tells this story; ” called the career office at the University of Michigan, where I got my MBA, and asked them for a list of Business School alumni here in Minnesota that I could contact for advice on getting a job. I made some phone calls, did a few interviews and got hired by a prominent bank in Minneapolis.”

Monitor Internet jobs boards
Try Yahoo! HotJobs, and others. You are not looking for jobs to apply to, you want the names of resource managers, trends about the company’s hiring patterns, and job titles at that company that match the type of work you hope to do.

Jeff Westover, a writer for, thinks job boards are really information boards, “A search at an Internet job board will reveal opportunities beyond what is posted for a jobseeker that takes the time to read between the lines.” “For example, if two competing companies in an industry are located near you and only one is hiring via an Internet job board, what are the opportunities implied by that?” “From competitors to suppliers, a jobseeker using an Internet job board can identify emerging opportunities that many will never pursue — or even identify.”

Participate in online discussion forums relevant to your career interests.
These forums may be offered by trade and professional associations, by Internet career sites, or by other organizations. You can find others using the Internet.

Google, the Internet search engine, indexes discussion forums so you can search for a forum that is talking about the hospitality industry. Other people in a forum are all potential contacts. Monitor the forum for a few days, and check the forum archives for previous discussions about job searching. If the forum seems like a good source of help, post a message in which you introduce yourself, let them know what your career goals are, and asking if any of them have suggestions or can refer you to someone.

Attend career fairs
Talk to the people at the booths of companies that interest you. Get their name and ask for names of others at the company they think you ought to talk with. Give them your resume. You may also want to ask for an information interview just to find out more about the company.

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One thought on “Networking: Finding People Who Can Help You Find a Job”

  1. I need help finding a job it seems like nobody hires. You go there and they fill out a application and nothing ever happens. Well lets see if you can help.

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