Network Safely Online

Network Safely Online

In case you haven't noticed, the old-boy network for finding jobs isn't old anymore, isn't all boys and now prefers high-end coffee shops to exclusive clubs. 

When not sipping lattes, many networkers in the professional world now meet around electronic water coolers, sharing career buzz via Internet media ranging from email and message boards to Web sites, chat and blogs.

This cyberspace of job hunting abounds with useful information and helpful people; it's also full of misinformation, dead ends and the occasional economic or social predator who's looking to take advantage of people. Follow these tips for getting the most from online networking while protecting yourself.

Six Ways to Surf Toward Your Next Job

  • Join Genuine Affinity Groups: Look for an online community focused on a specific affinity, whether it's your industry, occupation, city, alma mater or former employer. "I looked for every possible membership group I had any affiliation with," says Tim Johnston, author of Diary of a Job Search
  • Be the Hub of a Group: Some of your strongest connections may be to ex-colleagues at a small startup that dot-bombed. Form a group with them, or if no one from your alma mater has started up a local alumni group (or the group lies fallow), get it going yourself, whether with a Web site, newsletter, blog or weekly chat. But commit before you launch; it takes time and effort to put karma on your side. 
  • Participate in Online Seminars: "Network with your fellow participants," says William Arruda, a career coach in New York City. "Seminars are a great way to network with people anywhere in the world who are interested in your topic." 
  • Cast a Wide Net: To locate valuable lost acquaintances who don't show up elsewhere, try Google, Superpages' national people pages and other search engines.
  • Craft Email Subject Lines Carefully: When you send unsolicited email to a networking target who doesn't know you by name, your message will have to elbow its way through a sea of spam. In your subject line, mention the name of a mutual acquaintance or a very specific topic of interest to your target, and make it snappy. Generic subject lines, like "Request for help," or coy notes, like "I know someone you know," will just get you trashed. 
  • Give Something Back: After you ask networking contacts to do something for you, do something for them. And whenever you can, offer even modest help to anyone in your broad network. "Confidently know that something will come back to you," says Diane Darling, author of The Networking Survival Guide.

Five Ways to Stay Safe While Networking

  • Don't Give Yourself Away: Keep personal data, especially identifying information, to yourself until you have reason to trust your correspondent. "One of the freaky things about online relationships is that you can overexpose yourself," says Darling. On the Web, one piece of information -- name or address or phone number -- lets your genie out of the bottle. Also be careful about disseminating documents, like your resume, where your identity is embedded. 
  • Set Up a Safe Email Address: Consider establishing a separate email account for professional networking. Choose an email alias entirely unrelated to your real identity, and be sure the email service doesn't allow anyone to retrieve information you may have provided, like what you entered in a registration form. 
  • Watch What You Say: What you write in an online forum may be retrievable by search engines for years. You can imperil your good name and even lose your shirt by recklessly trashing an associate, boss or employer. Get a voodoo doll instead. 
  • Safety in Numbers: Be wary of face-to-face encounters with people you've only known online. "If you meet people in a group, a public place is pretty low-risk," says Johnston. 
  • Infect Others with Good Ideas, Not Viruses: The only thing more destructive to your reputation than spamming the world with your resume is allowing a PC virus or worm to send itself to everyone in your address book. Install antivirus software and keep your subscription current.

For more information on how to stay safe in your job search, visit Monster's Security Center. You can also check out

Articles in This Feature:

Latest Jobs

Posted: 07/01/2015
Dover, DE
Posted: 07/01/2015
Phoenix, AZ
Posted: 07/01/2015
Newburgh, NY, 12550
UnitedHealth Group
Posted: 07/01/2015
Boston, MA

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-201