New Tool Helps Job Seekers See Connections Inside Companies

The old adage about it’s not what you know, but who you know is in full effect in today’s job market. Recruiters are posting positions online and being inundated with the number of resumes that are submitted. Because of the sheer volume of applications, job seekers are often ignored unless something sets their applications apart from the many other candidates. One way for job seekers to get an “in” with their preferred employer is to find out if they have any existing connections already working for the company. Until now, this was a pretty tedious and time consuming task. However, virtual networking just got a lot easier with Glassdoor.com’s launch of Inside ConnectionsTM earlier this week. The tool connects Glassdoor’s existing functionality with Facebook’s networking capabilities to allow users to view their friends and where they work now or have worked in the past. For most job seekers, friends and family are the go-to people for finding out about companies. If your best friend raves about her employer, you’re probably more inclined to consider jobs with that organization. In fact, according to a recent Harris survey, people rate their friends and family as the most trusted resource for learning about companies (52 percent), followed by feedback and reviews from other people who work at the company (14 percent). The least trusted resources are the company’s website (5 percent) and the company’s recruiters (2 percent). I had the opportunity to speak with Tim Besse, the co-founder of Glassdoor.com, and he said the goal of Inside ConnectionsTM is to help job seekers make informed decisions about companies by providing one place that is a comprehensive research tool on where the jobs are, what they are and who you know there. After doing a brief pre-release demo of the tool, I’m convinced this is going to change the way people search for jobs. It’s also going to save a lot of time for job hunters and hopefully give them better odds at being noticed by a recruiter. Employee referral programs have been hugely popular for helping organizations find qualified leads. Essentially, Inside ConnectionsTM takes the employee referral concept one step further and puts the information in the hands of the job seeker. Depending on the security settings of your Facebook friends, you may also be able to see job information for friends of friends. This will allow you to expand your networking reach even further. Once the connections are listed, you can make contact with them by sending brief messages via Facebook and inquiring about their companies and opportunities. A personal contact with someone in the company is more effective than submitting your resume unsolicited to the general jobs e-mail address. It’s even more likely that you’ll be successful in landing an interview if your friend is willing to speak with the recruiter for the position on your behalf. According to Glassdoor, their site includes connections at more than 150,000 companies around the world. Chances are good that at least a few of these companies are hiring someone with your skill set. Amanda Haddaway is passionate about helping you ace your interview. She is the author of "Destination Real World: Success after Graduation," which helps new and soon-to-be college graduates with navigating the world of work. Connections inside networking image from Shutterstock

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