Your Networking Research Strategy: Focus on Real People, Not Job Boards

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\As a career coach, I see women at every professional level diving into a job search with little thought or strategy. Because there are so many online job boards, it seems logical to just look for jobs that sound interesting...and press a button to send in your resume. In fact, this is the absolute wrong way to look for a job—especially in the tougher COVID-19 market. You WILL find a job by making real, productive connections with real humans, not by hiding behind your computer and hoping for the best. Hope is not a strategy...connecting thoughtfully and meaningfully with more and more people most definitely is

Think of your job search time like a pie chart. One small slice of the pie—just 5% of your time—should be spent on job boards. So if you spend 20 hours a week looking for a job, that means no more than an hour on the job boards—just a few minutes a day. ob boards would not exist if people did not actually find jobs—but you have a much smaller chance of finding a job this way. Thousands and thousands of people shoot their resumes to any email address they can find (even if they're only marginally qualified). It's not humanly possible for recruiters to sift through all those resumes. Most of the time your resume will never be seen by human eyes. The best job board strategy is to choose a few that seem to have jobs that fit your profile. Set up alerts for the jobs you're seeking. If you see a job that seems like a good fit (you meet at least 75% of the listed requirements), go ahead and apply. There is one job board that I feel is worth your time...and that is It's very high-quality, well-vetted, and well maintained (so that you aren't applying to jobs filled six months ago). The head of FlexJobs, Sara Sutton Fell, is a highly respected leader in the flexible work revolution. FlexJobs is still a job board that gets thousands of applications, though. So a full 95% of your job search time should still be spent on job search research, strategy, and networking—which we will delve into throughout this course section.

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