Effective Networking Tools

networking toolsRecently, Forbes magazine released its list of Best & Worst cities for finding a job. Buffalo ranked second (tied with Rochester). Forbes determined their ranking based on a survey of data from Indeed.com, which calculated the number of postings per thousand people of jobs that paid $50,000 or more. This is where the data may be true but is misrepresenting.

Everyone knows Buffalo is like a large town. It seems everyone knows everyone one way or another, and as stated in a previous post 75% of jobs are not even advertised so it makes sense that the vast majority of jobs in Buffalo are found through connecting with other people. Therefore, successful networking is crucial to a Buffalo jobsearch. We simply have less job postings because jobs are filled before they are even advertised.

To start off, a business card and LinkedIn profile are a must. LinkedIn is an online business network of professionals, which allows you to stay connected with people you meet while job searching. It is essentially an online address book mixed with your Resume. People can find you, see your qualifications, introduce you to their contacts, and even leave recommendations on your profile.

In addition, the days of handing out a Resume to someone are fading fast. They are hard to carry and are not easily transferable into digital text format so why not make it easy on your self and others by having a Resume on LinkedIn. You can then put your profile link on your own, personalized business card. Vistaprint.com is a great place to get FREE business cards and all you pay is shipping ($10 for 250 cards). They have a number of templates you can use, or you can choose from their premium cards which are about $10 + shipping. What makes them even better is VistaPrint will remember you and save your work, as long as you are logged in.

Another good tool is a portable USB drive. You may know it as a thumbdrive, jumpdrive, flashdrive etc. they all mean the same device. A lot of people are putting their Resume on this drive because you can plug it into any computer and download the resume for easy sharing. These drives are around $5-20 and will carry more Resumes than you could ever write. Make sure to create folders for each of your different Resumes, and inside each folder have a Cover letter and other jobsearch related documents that go with each Resume.

Now that you have your LinkedIn profile, USB drive, and business card check out the List of Buffalo & WNY Networking Groups post, Meetup.com, the Buffalo News’ Networking Groups Business Calender, Business First’s Event Calendar or call/visit your local Chamber of Commerce for networking events.

>>More on the Forbes Article

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