It's funny the way the Internet works sometimes. Last Friday I uploaded a networking profile to Scrid in prep of this article. On Monday my friend Shannon Russo writes a great piece on why you need a networking plan in order to land a new position.
My purpose for creating a sample networking profile is simple. Something like 80% of job opportunities are filled via networking. Lots of folks want to meet with me as part of their job search because they believe I am well connected in the Atlanta technology world and can introduce them to job opportunities. Neither clause is necessarily true. Yes I know a number of folks in the tech community, the vast vast majority who work for companies with less then $1 million in revenue, more often than not with zero revenue. Because they have no revenue they do not hire people (with the exception of the well funded). As a result of this our meetings are not very productive. I hate non-productive meetings. How can job seekers help to make meetings more productive?
Create a networking profile.
I first learned about a networking profile from Michelle Tullier a number of years ago. Michelle has written quite a few books on the subject of careers, including one called Networking for Job Search and Career Success. The purpose of a networking profile is to show it to the people that you are networking with in your career search during face to face meetings in order to start a meaningful dialog that will get you closer to discovering job opportunities. To provide people you are meeting with a spark to help them point you to other people who may point you to opportunities.
The sample networking profile I created is below. If I were really using this document as a job search tool I would take Shannon's advice and list out target companies that are interesting to you. I have done this in real world situations and it is amazing how it leads to conversations and connections.
If you are going to network in your search, and you should, you need a networking profile. Don't leave home without it.