The 2012 Job Hunt: It’s Still Crucial To Network

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - These days, you wake up your laptop and thousands of job listings are just a couple of clicks away.  However, landing the position, as many of you know, is not that easy.

In a highly competitive employment market where jobs are scarce, technology can help, but it could potentially be a hindrance as well.  Local recruiting experts say you may need to put down the mouse and start shaking some hands.

The biggest question many people have in today's world is where are the jobs.  Long gone are the days where you could walk to the mailbox, pop in a resume or two, sit back and hope for the best. 

And, hours spent looking through piles and piles of classified ads may not be fruitful, either.

These days, technology provides a bounty of job-seeking resources.  The problem is, you still have to make yourself recognizable.

David McElhaney, manager of Global Recruiters of Huntsville, recruits candidates for jobs ranging from engineering to business development, sales and marketing.  He knows as well as anyone that times have changed.

"You know, the old days when I was looking for a job you could go down and buy some really nice paper and print up 1,000 resumes," said McElhaney.  "You can't do that anymore."

In fact, he says that's part of the problem.  Companies can receive anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 resumes from unqualified candidates.  McElhaney recommends you forget templates and create a custom resume tailored to every single job you seek.

Global Recruiters of Huntsville staff members are big proponents of LinkedIn, the world's largest professional networking site.  McElhaney says creating a thorough, honest profile complete with a picture is the first step. It's not the only thing you should do, though.

"Networking, fundamentally, it is the absolute best thing," said McElhaney. "Statistics run somewhere between 60 and 80 percent chance of finding a job through somebody you network with -- somebody you know or you know that knows somebody else."

Waiting in front of your computer won't cut it.  In fact, applying online actually has a success rate of just three to five percent.  So get out there, be seen and get hired.

"That's a critical link in connecting with people, doing local networking," said McElhaney. "Get involved with the Chamber, get involved with groups that have lunch outings where you can network with people and get to know people and connect one-to-one with people."

Global Recruiters of Huntsville's newest venture is the establishment of a veteran support program to aid servicemen and women with the job hunt, not only in Huntsville, but nationwide.

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