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.
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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!
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