Case Study: The Right Way to Network When Job Searching

Networking when you’re unemployed can feel like groveling. From this case study you’ll learn how to connect the right way to land your dream job.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #184

Contacting your broader social network when you’re unemployed can feel like groveling. However, today, networking through social media is an essential part of any job search. (I talk about that in my book, Ace Your Interview.) If you’re unemployed and looking for a job, or you’re employed and thinking of a job change, now is the time to go to start investing in your network. In this Public Speaker case study edition, I’ll discuss Gerard Y., a person in my network who’s really good at connecting through social media.  (By the way, in my book, Ace Your Interview, I delve more deeply into this topic.)

Case Study: Gerard Y., Awesome Networker

In today’s podcast I want to introduce you to someone in my network, Gerard Y. Gerard is particularly skilled at connecting with and deepening the contacts in his social network. I find that often people make the mistake of focusing on collecting followers and friends, instead of implementing strategies to deepen and strengthen the contacts they’ve already got. 

Of course, the reason we need to consistently develop and deepen our connections is because eventually, all of us will need to make a withdrawal from our professional network bank account. And if we haven’t invested into it, there won’t be anything to withdraw!

Deepen Your Connections by Investing in Your Network

I first met Gerard through a LinkedIn connection request in September 2007. After we connected, I read his profile and saw that he was giving away free motivational content (at the time, he was employed full time in a traditional marketing job).  I was impressed with his focus on others – that made him stand out.

Over time, I saw him helping many people in his network to get connected, offer one-on-one help, and even send resumes of strangers to his very large LinkedIn network. At one point, he needed a resource. So I immediately helped by connecting him with someone in my network. It wasn’t until 3 years later that I realized he lived near me and I invited him to lunch. I was glad we met—he’s one of those extremely upbeat people you’re naturally attracted to. At the time he was still at the same job and continuing to offer support to those that asked him.

The first time I saw him request a favor was in 2011 when he sent a message clearly and plainly stating that he was job searching. My first and only reaction was, “I wonder what I can do to help?” He had given so much to his network, he had invested so much of his time in others, I was confident his extended network would feel the same as me.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.