Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Professional Communities...Where The Big Kids Play

2010-07-02 11:31:24

I was reading a blog posting on the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, which is the main portal that Recruiters use to connect with each other. This particular post was about crazy/funny interview experiences. There was a long list of examples fitting the bill. So I took that link and sent it into the Twittersphere to job seekers as a "What Not To Wear" (or do) link. (

Here's something that seems to be escaping a lot of job seekers in the whole "networking" frenzy. Networking isn't just about hitting your contacts. It's about going and finding out where the people *you want to join* are hanging out. This translates to professional communities. Alumni Groups, Industry Associations, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Fan Pages, Conference Speakers/Attendees, etc.

You are trying to get in front of decision makers and industry leaders that may have people to refer you to. Also SME's (subject matter experts) in their field or industry. If you don't know where to look, take a hint from recruiters, marketing and sales: GOOGLE. Run a simple search to find those associations and groups.

Yesterday someone in one of my technical communities posted a request for local schools with Electronic Health Records programs. I sent her the preferred certification for this industry and a link to the overarching professional association (with a list of schools/programs that offer the right curriculum for this sort of certification.) I knew there was a certification because I had a job requiring it last year when I was recruiting in healthcare. But honestly, I didn't remember the actual acronym. So I did a quick Google search, found the term, and then the organization. It took me about 45 seconds.

The point is we all need to be proactive. I had a question about training materials, so I posted it to my HR community (which is separate than recruiting, by the way.) I had a detailed response within 5 minutes. So go find out where your industry (or targeted industry) gurus hang out. Read their blogs and community postings. Follow Twitter folks, read articles and info posted. And then, start responding to those online resources in the form of comments or feedback. Get *your* name out there so people recognize you. I started this a couple of years ago, and now I've got a weekly newspaper column and am called on to speak and give seminars and advice to professional groups. It's about recognition and self-promotion. And guess what? Only you are interested in doing it.

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