Professional Networking Has Nothing To Do With Who You Know


And Everything To Do With Who Knows You

In landing a job, you’ve likely heard the adage that it’s all about who you know, not what you know. This is a misleading concept for job seekers and advancers because networking is indeed a major factor, but it doesn’t exclude knowledge and it has nothing to do with who you know. If your sole career search and advancement strategies rely upon who you know, then your hanging your hopes on luck. Proactively making other others aware of the assets you bring to the table is how successful careers are gained and maintained.

Networking For A Job: Who You Know vs Who Knows You

Capability is paramount. Let’s be clear that successful businesses will always have a bottom line of profit and productivity, meaning that it doesn’t matter who you know if you’re not capable. If you’re looking for any career point past an entry level, low paying job, then you can’t depend on knowing someone to get you the job. How many long-term, successful CEOs do you see surrounded by personal acquaintances. It’s just bad business to hire personal acquaintances.

Recommending personal acquaintances is also a rarity past entry level jobs since it involves the person putting their own career in jeopardy if the recommended ‘friend’ turns out to be less than ideal for coveted, high-paying positions.

What can help you is who knows you. Don’t confuse who you know with who knows you. These are people that have come to know you through professional networking, people that have witnessed your skill set, business intelligence, work ethic, and other professional attributes in action or theory. You may know a lot of people, but how many of them actually know you, in particular the business side of you? These are the people that matter when it comes to networking for a job and the people you want to see and share you info.

Make Sure You’re Show Worthy

According to a study published in Adweek , 92% of hiring recruiters are using social media to vet and seek out potential new hires. And, it’s not just LinkedIn and business related networking sites they’re looking at for discovery. Anything from Snapchat to Facebook is fair game. Here’s how to get ready:

1) Start by ensuring you have a solid LinkedIn Page. Make sure the profile picture is equally business and friendly and that all fields are completed and accurate.

2) Vet all your personal and business social media pages for anything that could be misconstrued or inappropriate. Recruiters seeing rants about previous employers, unsavory posts, or scandalous pictures are likely to run for the hills. They’re not just looking at professional accolades; they’re looking at your personality and behaviors. Consider these key finding from a CareerBuilder study:

  • 25% of employer’s have found something online that’s caused them not to hire a particular candidate.
  • Over 40% of hiring managers admit their less likely to interview a person without a searchable online persona.
  • Of the info hiring managers find on social media, they report provocative photos, evidence of alcohol and drug use, bad mouthing professional peers and employers, and poor communication skills are top reasons to abort hiring efforts and info supporting qualifications, conveyance of a professional image, great communication skills, and versatile interests were top reason to further the hiring process for a candidate.
  • Over 40% of employers monitor their current employee’s social media pages, with 26% finding reasons to terminate.

3) Boost your presence with a blog and/or article publishing, such as through EzineArticles. Having such accolades can increase your credibility, present your knowledge in a way tangible way that your resume simply can’t offer, establish connection points, and further your online professional persona.

All three of the above are measures to effectively market yourself on the web, expanding who and how hiring recruiters know you. It’s a vital step of professional networking that just can’t be overlooked in today’s world of technology. Your overall goal is for a plethora of positive info to come up when a potential employer Googles your name.

Become The Person To Know

According to LinkedIn , the number one way people discover a job is through a referral.

Again, professional networking is such an essential element of career placement and advancement, but not in the context so many mistakenly take it. Networking is not a matter of collecting as many names to call upon as you can to beg for a referral. It’s a matter of shining so brightly within your industry that your name is the one called. Your name is synonymous as the person to know in your industry and job field.


  • Make sure that your online profile isn’t based on empty fluff and education titles alone.
  • Work the longer hours verses being the first one to hit the time clock.
  • Volunteer to assist higher ups with projects.
  • Attend professional seminars and meetings.
  • Put your skills to use within your community during your free time.
  • Blog your knowledge and experiences.
  • Basically, put in all the hard and extra work to establish your professional name.

In closing, while the importance of networking should never be dismissed, it’s just as harmful to use it out of context as a ‘who you know’ mindset that moots capability and hard work. As your professional persona develops, you’ll find that it greatly contributes to your success if it’s positive and meaningful.


Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray
ROBERT is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE