Six Best People Connections

For networking, job candidates are advised to attend meetings of professional industry associations. This is time consuming. Figure a three to four hour time span which includes driving, a brief networking period before the meeting, the business segment, the guest presentation, etc. After which most attendees are in a hurry to leave.

That brief networking period can be terribly difficult for job candidates. Walk in a room and approach unknown individuals in the awkward mission for job leads is unnerving. But to do so in such a limited amount of time rarely results in a single, solid job opportunity or lead. Shortly after 9/11 many associations had more unemployed members in attendance at meetings than employed. So the employed members chose not to attend rather than be bombarded by the unemployed membership. Some associations even changed membership requirements to “currently employed”.

With a higher rate of unemployment today, professional associations are over whelmed with requests for job search assistance. Job candidates view professionals associations as limited to those within their geographical area. PeopleHirePeople suggests looking beyond a job candidate’s geographical area for effective networking within associations.

How can job leads come from these associations when job candidates cannot attend meetings in person? Make numerous phone calls into professional associations to receive valuable industry information, referrals and job opportunities. The email below is from a Purdue MBA student who did just that. She was coached in the PeopleHirePeople job search strategies to access professional associations.

From: Ruby
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 9:19 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Dear Ms. Conners,

I was thinking about getting back to you to let you know that I’ve successfully found a job (within one month) using your method.

I made phone calls to all local chapters of Product Development Management Association and asking the presidents of those local chapters to tell me leads about companies which are looking for project managers with product development and MBA background, and also companies that are looking to establish or already established business with Asia (particularly China). Most of them were very friendly and helpful and provided me several leads to follow-on.

I am now working for a niche consulting firm called XXX, specializes in New Product Development, Innovation Strategy and Product Lifecycle Management consulting serving industry leaders in across various industries. (i.e. P&G;, Johnson and Johnson, Pepsi…)

I would like to show my appreciation for the great concept you evangelized and hope you will spread this concept around successfully.

Best regards,

Class of 2007, Purdue MBA

Ruby was successful because she made multiple focused industry connections in a relatively short period of time. Using the phone enabled more personal contacts than attendance at only one local chapter in her geographic area. Ruby’s mission paid off in record time.

PeopleHirePeople recommends several other people connections besides local chapter presidents within professional associations for job candidates to tap. First contact the membership chairperson. The chairperson has personal relationships with the association’s total membership and can give insight for best connections concerning a job candidate’s specific interest and needs. Due to recruiting efforts, the membership chairperson also has additional industry contacts outside the association

Second, search for the membership online directory. Some associations have their complete membership directory available with no special access needed! Select members by type of position, geographic area or company of employment to call.

Third, PeopleHirePeople suggests job candidates study associations’ web sites for committees, committee chairpersons and committee members. Most are listed with their company of employment. Easy reference through web search results in companies’ phone numbers. Phone committee members at his/her place of work.

Fourth, read latest press releases on professional associations’ websites where industry professionals and companies will be named within the text. Research these professionals and companies, they are great contacts. Mention reading the press release when calling them.

Fifth, associations’ websites feature articles written by industry experts. Personally connect with the authors of the articles as their bylines have their contact information. They have a wealth of industry information and referrals.

Sixth, multiply and acceleration personal connections with professional associations. Hunt professional associations’ websites. Create a list of “who to contact”. Personally connect for first hand employment information.

Guest Expert:

Kathleen Conners specializes in people connections for job search. She developed PeopleHirePeople “where to hunt”, “who to contact” & “what to ask” strategies. Kathleen is a full time recruiter and a guest lecturer to MBA programs at major universities. Her book, The Thrill of the Hunt: Get Real in Your Job Search can be directly purchased from Additional information and articles: and blog: Copyright 5/09

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