The Importance of Networking

Feb. 12, 2009 Digital Editor Erin Erickson tackles the importance of growing and maintaining a healthy professional network.

Over the course of my career, I’ve amassed a healthy-sized network of friends and colleagues that have been on both sides of the job seeker/job provider coin.

I remember a time not so far back when I would receive weekly phone calls and e-mails from people in my network who were looking to hire people like me (web geeks with a penchant for punctuation). I was happily employed, but I wanted to try my hand at occupational matchmaking. Over the course of a year, I think three people made it to final-round interviews and two accepted offers.

Sadly, my occupational matchmaking days have dwindled, and I have far more friends that are seeking jobs than I do jobs that I can steer them towards.

Despite being in the throws of a recession, maintaining a good professional network is a key ingredient to good employment. If the time comes when you need to look for a job, how will you go about it? A two-page, heavy-paper stock resume and cover letter may have cut it in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, but in the 21st century, it’s all about getting your name and face out there for the (hiring) world to see.
And is going to help get your name out there by offering these networking suggestions:

  • Join our LinkedIn Group. Our LinkedIn group ( continues to grow on a daily basis. We’ve got R&D specialists, project engineers, research chefs, ingredient and equipment suppliers – you name it. Once you join our network, you’ll be one click away from the elusive contact you keep wanting to talk to.
  • Attend Events. Our Events page ( offers numerous opportunities throughout the world where you can meet up with other food industry folks like yourself. Events are the perfect opportunity to make new contacts and keep up with your current ones.
  • Connect with Food Connection. This new section of allows you to keep up-to-date on the latest jobs news. Visit to create an online job profile, sign up for job alerts and read the latest career articles.

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