Tech has altered so much of our daily habits and routines that it’s almost become commonplace, but we often overlook how important it’s become to job hunting as well. In a post on Linkedin, Reid Hoffman laid out the differences between living in the Information Age (old) and the Networked Age (now):

A decade ago, John Battelle stressed the importance of “search literacy.” What he meant was that people who were skilled at using Google to find information had an edge over those who had yet to acquire this aptitude. In the Information Age, if you couldn’t make sense of an increasingly information-rich world through effective search capabilities, you’d be culturally marginalized, just like a person who couldn’t read street signs.

Now, those who can conceptualize and understand networks – both online and off – have an edge in today’s fast-paced and hyper-competitive landscape, where the speed with which we can make informed decisions is critical.

. . .

The Networked Age has radically changed [job searching], and yet when you ask people how they look for a job, a surprising number continue to say they “search the job listings.” That’s the Information Age approach! In the Networked Age, you should look for people with connections to companies you’re interested in, trace the best path from those connections to people who can share useful intelligence, and then ask for introductions to those people.

According to Hoffman, that leaves you with three main steps to get that job: using network technology, establishing an identity on it and building your connections, and then using that network. Most of us do this naturally without using the buzzwords: we just happen to have friends in our industry or interested in the same kind of work. But how often do you actually reach out and ask if they know of any job openings? As Joshua Klein said at our 2014 Conference, “your network is your most underrated, and most valuable, asset.” Use it!

Read the rest here.

  • Monica

    There is absolutely nothing new about using social connections or business contacts to get jobs. What a bunch of garbage.

  • Alex Dogum

    if one feels like its not working or depleting of desirable results, then you can switch, but I see no reason to categorize either one as archaic or the “new” way to use connections

  • Bartolomeu Lança

    My dad had ~30 jobs in his life, sometimes more than one at the same time, he was born in 1934.

  • n

    I prefer a lower paying job over high-earning job hopping any time. That’s my way to deal with “good, cheap, fast: pick two.” — your milage my vary. However, I make a living from my biz for some 40 years now and this year is the best ever. Maybe I’m just lucky …

  • Jobhuntress

    What do you do when the people you approach (if outside your network and in the company’s network) don’t help? They’re under no obligation to – but you’re stuck right? You can’t get a job at that company because you don’t know anyone there. This network approach can be also be very limiting if you’re trying to change fields.

  • nanarb

    Perhaps it isn’t surprising that a founder of LinkedIn is promoting the networking approach to finding a job. The idea is hardly original as Richard Bolles was making a case for essentially the same approach 40 years ago. Indeed, connections do matter. It’s how I got into software development. However, I think there are many ways to get where you want to go and many factors determine the best approach for you.

  • Ugo Crazy

    This bit right there got me to stop reading : “In the Networked Age, you should look for people with connections to companies you’re interested in, trace the best path from those connections to people who can share useful intelligence, and then ask for introductions to those people.”

    Thats basically an ad for linked in. it describes the EXACT path linked in uses. 1. check the company; 2. who do you know that knows someone there 3. get introduced (there even a handy button just for that specific task, nifty.)
    I don’t mean to disregard the _idea_ but it’s hardly news, as others pointed out. I’ve been working for little over 15 years and I only relied on my network.
    So is my method archaic ? Nope, it’s works even if the ISP is down 😀

  • B. Hunter

    I too noticed a striking similarity to the LinkedIn model, which has always bothered me for a variety of reasons. What if you were raised to be self-reliant and not constantly ask favors of others? If you’re perhaps a bit shy, and again, uncomfortable asking for help from relative strangers, pretty much out of the blue? Perhaps all of your trusted friends/former classmates work outside your industry and generally have little understanding of what you do anyway; when you talk to them about what you want to do and how you are looking for new opportunities they are understanding, but have no advice. The whole model of what feels like constantly needing to approach people with ones hand out feels unseemly. I think back to an alumni social event years ago when a classmate was walking around asking everybody if they were an “angel investor.” It was abrasive and annoying. I have a phrase for people who come to me only because they want something from me: “people I don’t feel inclined to associate with.” Clearly I’m professionally doomed.

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