Using Discussion Groups in Your Job Search

Discussion Groups Job Search Resources

Online discussion groups are email-based, subject-specific forums.

People subscribe to groups that discuss issues that are relevant to them personally

or professionally. Discussion Groups provide a quick, easy, and convenient way

to share and receive information in a variety of specialty areas. Mailing lists

cover a broad variety of topics and fields. Many carry job postings, and they are

a good resource for networking contacts, industry trends, and other developments.

Anyone involved in a job search can benefit from participating in newsletters

and forums.

All groups have a list manager who controls the subscriber list, and some groups have a moderator that controls the flow and direction of topics within the group.

Once you join a discussion group, you can pose questions and

participate in an online dialog with other members. Your question(s) will

automatically be distributed via e-mail to all others who have registered to

participate in the group. Any responses will be automatically sent to you

via email. In addition, you will receive, via email, questions and answers

submitted by others.

All discussion lists provide some basic instruction about how to join. Interested

parties send an email to the list administrator requesting to be added to the list.

The list administrator then adds you to the group and sends you a confirmation

mailing with information about how to post messages to the list, and information

about unsubscribing.

Lists and forums usually do not have posting requirements and you can participate

without contributing to the discussions. If you don’t want to subscribe to mailing

lists, you can use the searchable archives to look for information.

Remember that Networking is an essential component of an effective job search.

The development of specialized online discussion groups has made it easier for

job seekers to meet and interact with other professionals in the same field or

industry. The greatest advantage of discussion groups is that all the subscribers

have an interest in the subject matter. And networking is all about building your

personal contacts, especially within your given career field, so joining one or

more discussion groups related to your career can grow your network of contacts.

Tips for Your Job Search

Use the Newsletter Directory to find services that list available discussion

groups. Search the lists to find specific groups useful in your job search.

Use a dedicated email account for participation, for example HotMail,

to protect your privacy. If they allow members to post comments or questions,

just monitor the postings for a while to see what the rules of conduct

are. If you decide to participate, be sure that your posting is

about the subject and well written.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or information, but be careful if that’s all you

do. You’ll have the greatest success with most groups by sharing your expertise

and advice. Assume that all the posts are public information and don’t

post any information or comments that you would not want your present or future

employer to see.