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How do you "build a network" at companies you have never worked before, and you have no contacts at? You start adding them to your linkedin and then spamming them with messages saying "please be my friend"? I am asking because I heard this recommendation (build a network) all the time, but it is really really difficult to do, more so if you consider the number of companies where one can apply...

You jest, but that method literally works. I'm trying to break into finance, from a programming, web-development kind of background (with CS degree), which is a pretty tough nut to crack.

I've had a great deal of success just reaching out to people on LinkedIn who've worked on cool stuff in areas I find interesting, message them to see if they're keen to meet for a coffee/beer/etc. Meetups are fun too. A good number of people are happy to just chat for 30min, and you might get a few pointers on where to look for what you want. The worst case outcome is that you meet someone new, and talk about things you find mutually interesting for a little while.

Yeah, "honey, this year don't count me in as I am going to be out all nights having drink with strangers so that i can build my network"... it reminds me of that day I dared to call a recruiter because his phone was listed on the job posting, he was like "wtf dude, why are you calling me?"

I sent dozens of applications to companies in my area while looking for summer employment, no success. Started going to meetups just to be able to talk to some programmers from time to time. About two months in, met someone at a meetup who said their team needed Python/C++ devs. I talked a little bit with them, got their card, sent them a resume later that week, and eventually got my first proper development job.

Only one person's story ofc, but I'm happy! Face to face stuff is so much more valuable than submitting online forms, and tech meetups are stimulating, fun, and pretty common in cities.

Nobody ever mentioned every night for a year. Can't you spare a single night every other week? You need to take the chip of your shoulder. It is hard work and takes sacrifice to move the needle, and that is true for most of us here.

maybe my target was wrong, but I wrote a nice/short introduction to about 200 recruiters on linkedin, only 3 replied... if recruiters, who should be looking out for candidates, reply so lowly, how many people do you have to contact? by the way, the 3 recruiters replied to me but they never again contacted me back...

My advice would be to never work with recruiters. Their goals aren't aligned with yours. Find the managers and directors at the companies you want to work for. Those are the people you want to talk with.

It won't allow you to "target" a specific company, but you could get involved in open source projects and technology meetups, these can help you make connections in a wide spread of companies.

You don't build a network at a company. You build a network in an area, perhaps more than one. You can be a complete idiot and still be well-known among local programmers (some of whom might not realize that you're dumb, and might hire you.) Imagine how far you might go if you're not dumb.

Honestly? Interview. A lot. I spent a couple of years interviewing in order to get better at interviewing (and always have my ear to the rail for better opportunities) and one of the side effects is that I met a lot of cool people doing interesting things. These people are absolutely a part of my network now, and I've referred at least one person to a job they got. It's a lot of work, but starting from zero, it is an excellent way to build a network, get good at interviewing, and most importantly, find a job you like that pays well.

Are there programming meetups where you live? If there aren't you need to move. If there are you need to go to every one. If you have something interesting to say you ought to volunteer to give a talk (I just gave one on Redux, despite the fact that I have a job.)

If you have nothing interesting to say you ought to find something- if you're unemployed you must have a lot of time on your hands.

You build a network by making friends where you are right now. In a few years they will leave your company / be out of college.

With luck, one of them will be in a company or organization you want to apply to.

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