Linked In - Free online tool used to help leverage your contacts' networks. You create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can invite contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections' connections, and the people they know, linking you to thousands of people.
ExecuNet - Networking tools for members (bundled with the online job service) include opt-in networking directory, list of recruiter contacts, 50+ live local networking meetings around the US, as well as articles and newsletters about effective networking tactics. Darden Alumni receive a special discount of 15% when you join. Contact Darden Alumni Career Services to obtain the private website link that includes registration information with the discount.
There are literally thousands of books written on the topic of “business networking”, from to the classic Dale Carnegie series How to Win Friends and Influence People, to the internet-age reference book Professional Networking for Dummies (by Donna Fisher) to the recently popular Never Eat Alone (a master of self-promotion and “aspirational networking”, Keith Ferrazzi’s name-dropping book is a fun read, but may not teach you the baseline skills of networking). Searching through Amazon’s extensive list will likely turn up a book suited to your personality and needs.
The networking book we most often recommend, especially for those engaged in job search is Make Your Contacts Count - Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success (2nd Edition) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon. This is a practical, step-by-step guide to cultivating high-impact relationships, and includes “twenty-five tactics to find a job fast” in the chapter entitled 'Jump Start Your Job Hunt'.
Industry Specific Groups
There are many worthwhile industry networking groups for executives. Members of these groups can offer invaluable advice, ideas, and connections. Check websites for membership requirements and annual dues.
ACG - The Association for Corporate Growth is the global community dedicated to acquisitions, strategic and organic middle-market business growth. ACS is a membership and geographic-chapter-based organization that provides a variety of tools to enhance professional development, knowledge base and networking.
ChemPharma -A networking group of senior managers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Financial Executives Networking Group (FENG) - A networking group for senior financial executives. Local chapters and special interest groups. Membership is free, sponsorship by a current member is required.
International Executives Resource Group (IERG) - Membership by invitation to senior executives with demonstrated global experience. Share leads for senior-level international positions.
Marketing Executive Networking Group (MENG) - A networking group for marketing executives (VP and above) target income at least $160K. Regional chapters and twelve special interest groups. $200 fee to join plus $200 annual membership fee.
Technology Executive Networking Group (TENG) - 15 local chapters in US of CIOs, CTOs, Sr VP, VPs, and Directors of Technology. Free membership to those with target income at least $150K and sponsorship from another member of partner organization.