The attention business – connectedness and your job search

Google put first things first. They figured out how to rank pages by connectedness.  They put the page that will be the most useful to you at the top of your list.  That saved so much time that people abandoned the other search engines.

Connectedness is a simple idea on the web.  It is how often your web page is referred to by other web pages and how many web pages link to the ones that link to your web page.

There are simple and complex strategies to be ranked highly by Google.  All of them are forms of networking.  The two most common strategies are: 1) you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, and 2) become the expert.

You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours

You offer to list their web page on yours if they list your web page on theirs.  That way you both get a lot of recognition.

Guess what?  It works in job hunting too!  Okay, not that easily.  The basic idea is to help as many people as you can, and they will help you.

Getting articles published in trade journals is one example.  There are literally thousands of local, state, regional and national associations and publications that need authors.  Call up one and tell them you want to write an article.  Local newsletters are especially useful.  If you do a great job, they’ll publish it.  And the people who get those newsletters will then consider you an expert.  They may just call you to help them with a question.  They may offer you a job.

If you have something interesting to say, and already know you are a good speaker, contact your chamber of commerce and get on their speaker list. If you would like to be a great speaker, contact Toastmasters.  I know there is a club near you.  Go to www.toastmasters.org .  They are the best speaker trainers in the country.

Become the expert

When you are the expert, everyone seeks to be connected to you.  You can get to be known as an expert by getting certifications or doing consulting work.

Certifications are available for almost every field: sales, HR, accounting, real estate management, security, law, computers, etc.  Often hirers search resume databases for the certifications and assume a good person will be attached to them.

Consulting work can really mean just getting a temporary job in the field.  If you are unemployed, you have little to lose.  Contact all the temporary staffing agencies and ask them if they place people with your skills on temp jobs as well as permanent ones.  If they don’t, ask them who does.  I was surprised that there is a market for temporary doctors in Antarctica, temporary electrical linemen in Alaska, and temporary environmentalists in Butte, Montana.

Figure out how to get connected to as many people as possible.  It is a Google job search method that gets you in front of the competition.  It could eliminate all your competition.

Something to do today

Make a list of ways other people have connected to you in your job.  People who have not worked directly with you have wormed their way into your mind.  How did they do it?  Are they trainers, writers, consultants, speakers or something else?  Track down how they got connected to you.  Can you do the same?

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