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Do Career Networking Groups Really Help?

businessmen networkingNetworking groups are just as important to your job search as are your resume and LinkedIn profile.

It is a frequent question if career networking groups are useful to people in job transition. The line of inquiry usually is “why do I want to surround myself with unemployed people – they can’t help me”.

From my experience in helping clients I can tell you that career networking groups are very helpful and I strongly encourage you to reach out and connect with them. I am actively involved as a volunteer leader with C3G out of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. I have seen firsthand the high number of successes that have come out of this group.

A few suggestions to get you started:

  • Find groups that have a purpose that is meaningful to you and your career search. Some groups – like C3G – are great networking venues where professionals can meet, connect and help each other. Other groups – like the Roswell United Methodist Church (RUMC) – are great training venues that can help with resume writing, LinkedIn profiles and interview skills.
  • Do not be concerned that many of the networking groups are affiliated with churches. The groups accept all and truly help people from all faiths. They do not want to convert you – they want to help.
  • These forums are good venues to practice your elevator speech and discuss your personal career marketing plan. These groups are also great forums to practice all of the skills you need to get your search going. They also can provide you with good input, ideas and suggestions.
  • Please be careful not to take every suggestion carte blanche and be in a state of constant revision. I have seen too many people stuck in a steady stream of re-writes based on all of the comments they receive. Please be selective and careful – or talk to a career coach like myself.
  • Bring business cards and several resumes.
  • Please be open to help others because there will be many there to help you.
  • Get involved. There are a number of ways that you can get involved in these groups. It helps keep you mentally active and it can benefit others.