Networking and the Personal Marketing Plan

So by now, you have heard that networking is the most effective method of finding a new opportunity in today’s job market. Networking outpaces, searching online, contacting companies directly, and working with recruiters. Networking is recommended by most all career professionals as the one job search tool to focus on.

Networking involves contacting people in your professional network, asking them for referrals to second degree people in your network and then contacting these second degree people to reach the people in your third degree. Research has shown that it is your third degree contacts that typically have the authority to hire you. People in your second degree network are considered your “bridge” contacts, your connection to the people with the authority to hire.

You would think that the one document that you need during your networking meetings is your resume. But not so fast, giving your resume to your networking contacts can back fire, because a resume used in this instance is more like an application and your contacts will feel obligated to pass along your resume and may not do so. In addition, using a resume does not get to the core of what you are looking for…additional leads that will get you closer to your objective: face time with a hiring manager.

A more effective tool to use in your networking sessions is a document known as a personal marketing plan or networking profile. This document, usually one page in length, contains key information not found in a resume such as your target position titles, industries, and companies.

Why is the personal marketing plan so powerful? Because it communicates just what positions you are interested in as well as the target industries and companies that you are interested in. Sharing this information with your network is sure to generate additional professional contacts that you can add to your network.

For more information on how to develop your own personal marketing plan, please contact me at

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