Five Time-saving Networking Tips

July 9, 2010 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Part of the aversion that many people have to networking is how labor-intensive it can be. And while it’s true that keeping up with a number of people online and in person takes time, it’s still the best way to land a job when you need it and to manage your career prospects for the long term!

A reminder: Networking isn’t just about schmoozing or working the cocktail circuit (though that’s part of it). It’s basically reaching out to and then staying in touch with a variety of people who share some of your interests and have your interests at heart. It’s not just about job seeking, but you certainly want to tap your network when you are looking for a job.

With that in mind, here are five tips for making networking a less time-consuming and overwhelming process:

*Join groups, but only a few and those that make sense for you. It’s necessary to get out from behind your computer and to make new contacts face to face, and groups are an efficient and effective way to do this. Yet when stepping up their networking efforts, people often waste time by attending events at a lot of groups with “meeting people” in mind. They would do better to target their efforts to groups they are interested in — not just for networking but whose causes and purposes they support and enjoy. Career experts suggest joining a maximum of three groups for networking purposes, including an affinity group (an alumni association or a minority journalism group, for example), a professional group related to your interests (one of the many journalism-subject area groups, like SABEW or IRE) and a group related to something you’re passionate about personally. Choose one to which you’d really like to devote some time, and consider getting involved in its leadership.

*Develop a networking system and database. One can cut down the time they spend on networking by simply organizing their efforts. First, think about when in the work day and work week makes sense for you to spend time networking — and then set aside a half hour or an hour each day (and perhaps a chunk of time on weekends) for emailing contacts, making calls or responding to requests. Once you get in the habit of efficiently networking, you will spin your wheels much less, and the “must respond to” email stack will lessen. Also, develop an organized database of contacts. The system doesn’t have to be elaborate, though it can be. (A career coach I know has an Excel spreadsheet devoted to networking where she logs in every significant contact she has with someone and the date, and also logs in to whom she refers people, and then cross-references them. It’s a great system for her but probably not for everyone.) Start by listing somewhere your contacts — use the contacts in your mobile phone, I-Phone, BlackBerry or Outlook list as base — and then make a point of noting when you’ve been in touch. LinkedIn especially and Facebook to a lesser degree also provide a way to track your contacts and connections.

*Regular contact is key. You’ll save a lot of time if you don’t have fits and starts in networking. If you keep in touch regularly with important people in your network, you’ll find out about jobs and make important connections on a regular basis. That way, when you need a job you won’t be starting anew. For women (sorry, guys, but shoe-shopping remains a female sport) it’s like how you never find that perfect pair of shoes when you need them for an important event, but if you stop by DSW or Nordstrom’s on a regular basis and just try on a few things, you’ll always have boffo shoes. Some of these contacts can be pretty cursory — a quick note or commenting on something on their Facebook page for instance — but with others you’ll want to invest time regularly in a longer phone call, coffee or lunch.

*Think of where your networking time will pay off most. I’ve said it before but will repeat it: networking with the well-networked gives you the best chance of expanding your contacts in a meaningful way. Good networkers obviously enjoy meeting folks and so are more likely to include you among their contacts, and to introduce you to others. And do the math: the well-networked have more people than ordinary folks with whom they’re in touch, and more contacts to pass along to you if you make a good connection with them. Make your networking time pay dividends by seeking out those who know a lot of people and are likely to want to help you.

*Target your social networking efforts. Though social networking is for fun as well as contacts, you need to develop a specific strategy for using such sites as a networking tool. LinkedIn is great for this as it is set up as a business tool — and its professional groups are a smart way to make good use of your social networking time. Facebook can be useful for networking but you need to work it for this purpose; hanging out playing Mafia Wars isn’t likely to land you a job. And watch how much time you spend here — this is networking but just one form of it, and it’s no substitute for meeting people and having conversations in person.

*Who says there’s no hiring in the summertime? Today, I get to offer congratulations to another dcworks supporter who has landed a new job! Dave Clarke, a longtime budget and financial reporter at CQ, on Aug. 2 will join the D.C. bureau of Thomson Reuters as a financial regulatory reporter. Dave’s answer to my appeal for advice for others job-hunting in this area contains some interesting think-before-you-leap tips. He liked his job at CQ but wanted to broaden his experience beyond covering Congress. “With that in mind I thought that my skills matched up well covering the intersection of business and government from the agency or department side. So, I started keeping an eye out for jobs like that,” and that’s how he heard about the Reuters opening.  “The key for me,” he continues, “was deciding what I’m good at and like, and what I don’t like, and consequently probably wouldn’t do well covering. That sounds obvious but it’s not always easy to figure out, and for me it was the key to deciding what to do next with my career and where to look.”  Great advice — that thinking and planning process is crucial to a successful job hunt, yet many people rush through it.

Congratulations to Dave and best of luck to him at Reuters!

*To wrap up this (sweltering) work week, here are some good leads:

*The National Center for Victims of Crime in D.C. has an opening for a publications coordinator:

*Here’s a good Hill opening for a transitioning journalist — the D.C. office of Sen. Al Franken (representing my home state of Minnesota!) is looking for a press secretary:

The office of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) seeks a Press Secretary to serve the principal liaison with the media to promote and advance the Senator’s positioning and priorities. The Press Secretary will develop and maintain positive work relationships with key journalists, editorial writers and columnists. Duties will include serving as a primary on-the-record spokesperson and media liaison, facilitating media coverage of the Senator’s activities, events and leaders, and coordinating media opportunities. The Press Secretary reports to the Communications Director.
Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and references to

*There’s an opening for a new media coordinator for the “Young Invicibles” team in D.C. for a nine-month campaign related to health care reform:

*Common Cause in D.C. has an opening for a manager of social media:

*ASCD in Alexandria is looking for an e-publishing specialist:

*With a hat tip to (for these next several listings), Streetsblog in D.C. is looking for a mid-level editor to cover the politics of transportation policy:

Company: Streetsblog
Seeking a talented editor to cover the politics
of transportation policy
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: $50,000 to $60,000
Ad Expires:
August 12, 2010
Job ID: 1183445

Streetsblog National Editor

We are looking for a talented professional journalist, eager to make an impact, to take over Streetsblog’s national coverage — creating original online content, interpreting news, and managing freelance writers and reporters. Building on the success of Streetsblog Capitol Hill, Streetsblog’s National Editor will report, write, and edit enterprise stories about the movement to reform the American transportation system by reducing motor vehicle congestion and automobile dependence, while improving conditions for transit use, cycling, and walking.

The ideal candidate shares our vision of Streetsblog as a respected, insightful information hub about how transportation policy is shaped at the federal, state, and local levels – and why those policies should be improved. With Congress and the Obama administration dragging their feet on the passage of a critically important five-year transportation bill, Streetsblog’s national coverage will be essential both to make the case for reform to an influential audience of insiders, and to attract a constituency of grassroots advocates to press for more sustainable transportation and development policies.


Streetsblog combines a distinct advocacy bent with newspaper-quality journalism. Toward that end, we are seeking an editor with previous professional experience to do original research, reporting, interviews, investigation and coverage of events, and to develop and manage a stable of freelance contributors to round out the beat. The ideal candidate will be comfortable with the notion that journalism can be conducted with integrity and fidelity to the truth while retaining a point of view. The editor and freelance staff will be expected to:

• Produce engaging enterprise pieces about local transportation stories happening around the country: Bus cuts in Atlanta, highway widenings in Kentucky, freeway-tolling fights in Pennsylvania, transit expansion plans in Los Angeles, bike and pedestrian safety projects in Indianapolis – all are part of the national Streetsblog beat.

• Manage the flow of transportation-related news from Congress in a timely manner: Track bills and provide updates on the status of transportation-related legislation.

• Conduct expert interviews and Q&As with lawmakers, lobbyists, activists, and experts.

• Encourage feedback from readers and bloggers, turning the policymaking process into an ongoing narrative and conversation.

• Educate readers about the policy process and help identify ways they can exert influence on what happens in Congress.

• Cultivate relationships with advocacy groups and lobbyists working on federal transportation issues and state-level implementation. This includes everyone from environmental activists to highway lobbyists to state DOT watchdogs. Qualifications

• Professional journalism experience, ideally covering the legislative process and/or transportation policy issues, and experience managing and editing other journalists

• An existing network of contacts and sources on Capitol Hill, or access to freelance reporters with Capitol Hill experience

• Passion for and some background knowledge of progressive urban planning, transportation, and land use policy

• Excellent writing and research skills, as evidenced by clips

• Experience with Word Press or other blogging / content production technologies, a big plus

To Apply

Send a resume, cover letter, and relevant clips/links to

About Streetsblog is the premier source for news and analysis about transportation, urban planning and environmental policy issues. In 2009, after successfully establishing local Streetsblogs in New York and San Francisco, we went national with the creation of Streetsblog Capitol Hill, devoted to covering developments in transportation and infrastructure policy inside the Beltway. The blog quickly become a must-read for Hill staff, top administration officials, and planning professionals across the country.

*Freedom House in D.C. is seeking a new media communications officer:

Company: Freedom House
Media Relations
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
August 11, 2010
Job ID: 1182898


Through research, effective advocacy, and programs directly supporting frontline activists, Freedom House supports the spread of freedom and democracy throughout the world. Freedom House has been a leader in identifying threats to freedom through its highly regarded analytic reports, including Freedom in the World. Its diverse programs have supported the work of civic activists and human rights defenders in over 40 countries. Advocacy and outreach are aimed at encouraging democratic governments, including the United States, to adopt and implement policies that effectively advance human rights and democracy at home and abroad. Freedom House’s annual budget is $18 million, with 13 field offices, and two U.S. offices. Freedom House seeks a new media communications officer to help improve our visibility and communications capacity, including on social networking and new media sites.

BASIC FUNCTIONS Under the direction of the director of advocacy, the new media communications officer will create multimedia content for Freedom House websites and other communications projects (e.g. videos, podcasts, public awareness campaigns, design work, organizational branding); create and implement social media campaigns; assist in the content creation and maintenance of Freedom House’s Freedom of Expression campaign website; and research and strategize ways to increase the public profile of the organization.

ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS Reports to: Director of Advocacy Supervises: No supervisorial role


• Create multimedia content for Freedom House’s social media portfolio including Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, Linkedin and additional multimedia platforms. • Video and audio production and editing • Assist in the creation of multimedia content for both the website and other venues including video • Coordinate with program teams to produce compelling multimedia content • Assist with media and development outreach efforts • Tracking industry trends in new media and identifying opportunities for engagement



• Bachelor’s Degree • Experience and interest in video production and editing • Experience producing podcasts • Excellent writing, proofreading and editing skills • Experience and familiarity with a range social media tools including social networking, social bookmarking, and community building, preferably for advocacy and development • Experience with Adobe Photoshop • Interest in human rights and democracy issues • Ability to balance multiple priorities and general flexibility and ease of movement between multiple projects


• Background and e-development/e-fundraising • Website design and SEO skills • Knowledge of In-Design and Drupal

Please send cover letter, resume and social media portfolio by email or fax to:

Yolanda Abner Human Resources Manager Fax: (202) 822-3893

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested candidates must submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements. If any candidate does not have all required information, he or she will not be considered. Candidates are also requested to state where they viewed the job advertisement in their applications. Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be notified. No phone calls, please. EOE M/F/D/V

*And to wrap up this week’s leads, the French public TV network France 2 has an opening in D.C.  for a news producer:

Company: France 2 Washington
Seeking news producer
Washington, dc, District of Columbia
Job Status: Part-time
Salary: Negotiable
Ad Expires:
August 6, 2010
Job ID: 1181769


The French public TV network France 2 is looking for a dynamic news producer to join its Washington bureau. Part-time or full-time position available starting in September.

The ideal candidate is a versatile native English speaker with experience in journalism and/or TV, strong knowledge of the United States, and enough fluency in French to handle phone and e-mail communication.

All applicants must be able to identify and develop stories within North America that have resonance with the audience of our news programs in France. Producing for a French channel can be very different from producing for a U.S. outlet. Primary duties involve researching stories, conducting pre-interviews, field producing and selecting and locating footage from TV affiliates and archives. Strong research and writing skills, a positive; team-oriented attitude and organizational skills a must. Knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Dalet a plus.

Competitive salary and attractive benefits package.

Happy hunting and have a relaxing weekend! I’ll be back with you bright and early Monday morning!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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