There was a recent discussion on LinkedIn regarding tight versus broad networks (LinkedIn Strategies – Tight vs Broad Network). Is it more effective in a job search to build a network of close connections or instead, build a network with a broad reach, but weak connections?
This is an interesting discussion. Recently I have been trying to qualify my network. I have been building my network for a little over a year now. At first, I thought it should be a numbers game. How many people can I connect with? I immediately saw diminishing returns.
To put things in perspective, I currently have:
277 contacts on LinkedIn.
180 following/156 followers on Twitter.
20 people actively following my blog daily and commenting
150 non-family contacts in my contact database
Of all the above contacts I consider maybe 10 contacts can help me find a new position or are people that remain in touch with me. What does this mean? Have I failed in networking? Should I have a tighter network or a better network? These are questions I ask myself everyday.
Here is what I do know.
Maintaining a network takes time and effort on your part.
If you are seeing no responses from your network then you should not put the effort in networking with that person. I know this seems harsh. But lets face facts, if you email and call someone and they do not respond then it is clear they are not interested in maintaining a link with you.
Move on and find others that will return your emails and telephone calls. Even if they do not have a position, they are just checking in with you to maintain a link.
Maintain a network that brings value to you.
I have started to be more discriminating in whom I add to LinkedIn and follow on Twitter. I want to have contacts that I can help and that can help me both in the short and long-term. It is not a numbers game anymore for me. It is about quality relationships with people.
What do you think about maintaining a network? What are your thoughts on how to maintain a network?
This Twitter guide gives advice on how to get started, practice good etiquette, network and job hunt, search smart and stay organized. You’ll also find analysis on how to better engage your followers, use Twitter to reach customers, and go mobile with Twitter.
As a technology executive, I must admit, I am a little amazed by Twitter. It is a free tool that let’s everyone else who are also tweeting know everything you want them to know in the space of 140 characters. 140 characters does not sound like alot but it is.
What are you using Twitter for or better yet what can you use Twitter for? It is after all a tool and tools in the right hands can move mountains.