In the past I have been asked more than once to provide a short presentation at a local job support group. The last time I did one of these was a few years ago, but I think job clubs and job support groups are either one-and-the-same or at least have a lot of similarities. The question for today is, does that kind of activity produce job leads and, if so, how useful are those leads? According to a recent blog post called “Say No to Job Leads” by Nick Corcodillos (Ask The Headhunter), not very.
The problem seems to be that the people who are providing those leads to you at job club meetings–if they’re actually providing any–don’t really have first-hand knowledge as to the specifics, including whether the position is even still open or not. As Corcodillos puts it in response to a reader’s question, “Getting job leads at job clubs is not networking. What you’re doing wrong is wasting face time….Not all job leads are the same. While getting a lead at a meeting might seem more personal, it’s very different from a personal referral from someone who knows, respects, and trusts you–and who has true insider connections. The leads you’re talking about could originate anywhere. They are more like job listings than leads.”
This suggests to me that there might be some similarities between job leads from job clubs and sales leads from generic lists–there’s a good chance many of the leads will go nowhere. A good salesperson knows that he/she has to qualify the prospects before investing much time in pursuing business with the company. Overall, it appears that job club leads don’t warrant spending any time trying to follow through on them. If you’re attending job club meetings primarily to gain those leads, you are probably wasting precious time you can and should be spending elsewhere.
Again, Corcodillos makes no bones about telling you you shouldn’t devote time to job leads from sources that don’t have a genuine connection–leads that might not only be old news but also not even a desirable place for you to be. He says: “The age of job leads isn’t the only issue to consider before you quickly tap out a resume submission on your smart phone. That lead–even if it’s sound–is for a job that came along, not one you developed yourself. This is an important point. While you’re likely to chase what comes along, by quickly e-mailing an application on a lead, you’re probably far more motivated to invest in a more effective approach if the job (or employer) is one you carefully researched and decided was a top-quality target for you.”
It looks as if the proverbial statement about “no such thing as a free lunch” applies to getting job leads. You need to be willing–even determined–to put the right kind of energy and focus into executing a job search that targets desirable objectives, rather than attending meetings willy-nilly and hoping good job leads will fall into your lap. Not going to happen!