Earlier this week I attended another career coaching event where the speaker was really trying to make the point that answering job ads is not the way to land a new job. She told us, as many others have before, that instead we have to connect with C-level personnel and establish a report with them. We should focus on being a resource for the company first then eventually they will look at bringing us on. One of the methods she promoted was monitoring the company through its website and news outlets then emailing your contacts and congratulate or make some other comment to let them know you have an interest in their activities. Then of course you can use your social media sources to spread the word about what a wonderful company they are.
It may be cynical on my part, but I can't help but feel a senior level planner, especially in the private sector, really doesn't care I read an article about their latest project then blogged about it and promoted them on Twitter. Now I know networking has many more dynamics to it than just this approach. As an entry-level planner I want to connect with as many senior people as possible and learn from them, not just as a job hunter. So here's what I'm interested in hearing from the community.
Senior Level Planners: How do you like junior planners (employees or outsiders) to connect or network with you? What can we demonstrate through a network connection that would peak your interest in us? How much interest can we show in you and your company before crossing the "creepy, needy, cyber-stalking, obviously looking for a job" line? Do you read junior planner's blogs and Tweets?
Job Seekers: What kind of networking strategies do you use and have they been effective (not just landing a job but getting a solid connection that you believe will lead to a future job)? Have you been hearing the same ideas from career coaches and job searching seminars? Are you reluctant, like me, to engage in some of these techniques because you fear being more of a nuisance than a dedicated, but unemployed, planner?