Thursday, July 10, 2008

Networking: Who Knows You?

My good friend George Weyrauch is constantly preaching "It's not who you know, but who knows you."

Over 60% of jobs are obtained through networking – and that number is even higher in the creative field. When it comes down to it, most people want to work with a known quantity.

Whenever I need to hire someone, the first thing I do is put the word out to people I trust. The basic question I ask is "Do you know someone I should be talking to for this position?"

And I get those kinds of phone calls/e-mails all the time. I've referred people I interviewed but didn't hire (they were very good, just didn't fit what I was after), students whose portfolios I reviewed, former co-workers and people I met through the KC Ad Club.

Get yourself in front of people. Join organizations like the local ad club, AIGA or other creative organizations. Volunteer to be on a committee – or two – or three. Go to all the events you can. Introduce yourself to people.

Just don't push your resume on people (big turnoff). Make sure they know who you are and what you do. Be visible. Be known.

Ask for business cards and then follow up quickly. Send them an e-mail telling them it was nice to meet them. Ask if they know anyone you should be talking to. You're MUCH more like to get through to the hiring person if you can say "So-and-so gave me your name and said I should talk to you about your opening."

You can find good advice on networking here and here.

Remember, it's about who knows you.

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