I love learning about networking from experts who are not into the job search. Why? Because many of the strategies and tactics they teach are 100% applicable in a job search, but taught in the frame of how professionals network.
Think about it: just because you are unemployed doesn’t mean you aren’t a professional. Unemployed is just a status, but you aren’t an professional unemployed person, are you?
Thom Singer, author of Some Assembly Required, wrote a blog post about networking in this current economy (read: recession). It’s a great read, and Thom offers two bonus networking tips for job seekers. I LOVE the first one:
Do NOT bring your resume to every networking event or individual meeting.
That’s awesome job search networking advice. Why? Think about it… what do professionals give to one another when they meet? Resumes? NO!!! Business cards!
There is a time and a place for resumes, but it’s not at networking events. You MUST have business cards to give to other professionals. If you have a resume you are immediately establishing your status as unemployed and hungry (as opposed to “a professional”), and you probably look desperate.
Do you have business cards yet? Take the resume that Career Resumes has done for you and make sure your brand and messaging from the resume transfers over to your business card. And remember, your brand is that of a professional, not an unemployed person.
Don’t lose your professional identity simply because your employment status is temporarily changed.