Over the years, I’ve written A LOT about networking and how it helped me get ALL my jobs so far in Israel. However, I’ve never written a blog post exclusively about networking, more specifically how or with whom to network. So, in this post, I would like to share my own lessons learned, so you can skip the hard part and start building your own networking in Israel.
To contextualize a bit, below are my previous mentions on the importance of networking in some of my blog posts. You can always go back and read them, if you haven’t yet:
- One of my six main takeaways from my job search, in 2019, was NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING
- One of my tips after breaking into high-tech, in 2021, was to nurture relationships, especially when you don’t need them
- Before, during and after COVID-19 pandemic, I am always attending meetups. I really believe that this is a great place to network and meet new people – even in virtual events (which are not relevant anymore, at least in Israel, but there were many virtual networking events where the organizers created break-up rooms and gave each room a different task. Really engaging and interesting!)
- A step-by-step including screenshots of how to find relevant people on LinkedIn to connect
In this post, following the previous blog posts of this new series, I’ll share practical tips on how and with whom to network – what worked for me.
Heads up! You’ll need to have a Facebook and a LinkedIn account to be able to put my tips in practice.
Communities that helped me to connect with relevant people in Israel
I’m a true believer in the power of communities. I believe in them so much that I created my own community of Brazilian professionals living in Israel (olim chadashim/vatikim/new immigrants) – Kadima Brasil. However, this community is exclusively for Portuguese speakers and for people already living in Israel.
If you come from a different country, don’t worry! There are many other great communities that can help you develop a new network in Israel, to name a few:
- Gvahim Network
I’ve not only spoken about Gvahim many times, but I’m also giving back to the community that helped me many times when I needed support. This is the main reason I’m always invited to represent them in front of newer olim chadashim (new immigrants in Israel):
- Mentor for Aliyah Prep
- Lecture 1 – how to stand out in the crowd
- Opportunity fair offered by the Jewish Agency in Brasil
- “Mama Bear” award for volunteer of the year 2020
- Lecture 2 – tips from an HR professional
Gvahim Network is mainly a platform, a virtual place where talented olim exchange knowledge, help each other and grow professionally, managed by a great community manager and above all, a great person, that I can call a friend: Limor Schwartz.
The platform is free for Gvahim Alumni, and there is also a Premium option. At the platform, you can find jobs, meetups and members willing to help: meet for coffee, answer industry questions, or introduce other members to connections.
When I was actively looking for a job, I used this resource a lot! So, if you are a Gvahim alumni, I highly recommend using the platform and attending their virtual and physical events.
- Olim in Tech
Olim in Tech is a Facebook community geared towards empowering and connecting olim who work or want to start working in hi-tech. It was founded in 2017 by seven olim chadashim from different backgrounds and countries that volunteer their time to help other olim find jobs, in networking, and in generally advancing their career.
I use the platform not only when I’m looking for a job, but I also comment on other people’s posts with my personal advice and supply the community with relevant information that might interest the audience.
People who are active in this kind of community are usually those willing to help other olim chadashim. So, in order to grow my network in Israel, I looked for those who replied or reacted to my posts on LinkedIn and sent them a connection request (following, I will write a bit on how to connect with people on LinkedIn and get more responses from them).
Even though this is a Facebook group, I believe that the best way to connect professionally with someone is by connecting on LinkedIn. Personally, I only connect with people on Facebook if I know them, unlike LinkedIn, where I accept almost everyone that sends me a connection request.
- Mera’anenot- Popup Hub for Job Hunt
Mera’anenot (an invented word in Hebrew that refers to women that are interviewing for a job, from the word ראיון – interview) is a hi-tech community of professional “she-talents” (only for women, sorry guys!), with a technological background that are currently looking for their next job. Eti Avital Mogendorff created this community when she was looking for a job herself, in 2019, and she wanted to do it together with other women in the same situation as hers – this is the true power of community!
Every communication in this community is in Hebrew, so it’s only relevant for olim who speak the local language (sorry, non-Hebrew speakers!). In this community, they offer a job opening thread every month (שרשור משרות), and in a couple of days, they’ll have their 31st “popup hub” at Walkme. The popup hub is a pre-registered event where you’ll physically go to the company’s office and have a half day of Q&A with the HR team, all the while enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience looking for a job together with other women.
The demand is very high, and this is why I’ve never attended one of their popup hubs, unfortunately. But I know Eti personally, and I know of many successful cases! So, if you’re looking for a job and speak Hebrew, I recommend you register for this next event or just join their Facebook community!
Another great community of women who speak Hebrew (this is one of the main reasons I studied Hebrew so hard – I wanted to be part of local communities!), HaMeetupistiot. This is also an invented word in Hebrew that refers to women that attend to meetups, from the word מיטאפ – literally meetup in Hebrew. It is a community of entrepreneurs, careerists, and curious women that are looking to grow their network and don’t want to attend meetups alone. As I mentioned, meetups are a great place to grow your network!
Hila Bakshi and Adaya Tal created this community, in 2019, after being the only ladies in a meetup full of men. They researched a bit and discovered that women usually don’t attend meetups when they need to show up alone. So, they created this community and today they offer an events calendar, distribute a weekly newsletter (in Hebrew) and highlight extraordinary women (I was featured as one of their Meetupistit of the Week in March, 2020).
I have attended some of their events and in one of them, when I introduced myself, I had at least 5 different women tell me that they were willing to help me look for a job.
- Other communities
Here is a list with links for other communities that could help you network in Israel:
- Nevo Network – community of top talent Olim, mentors and supporters who are committed to creating impact in the Israeli tech ecosystem, backed by Michael Eisenberg (Aleph VC)
- Lunch club – invite-only community, so feel free to use my personal invitation
- InterNations – a global community for people living abroad
- TLV Internationals – community of young professionals living in and around Tel Aviv
- WLC (Women’s Lunch Club)
- JWI’s Tel Aviv Young Women’s Impact Network
- ESRA 40+ – Israel’s biggest English speaking community
- For business owners/entrepreneurs
- Find your niche networking group:
How to connect with people on LinkedIn and get more responses from them
My main advice when adding new people to your network is to write an introduction explaining why you decided to add this person. Be genuine and make good use of the 300 characters LinkedIn offers to introduce yourself.
Some things I learned along the way:
- Use the “oleh card” – use the fact that Israelis or other olim/internationals like to help olim chadashim and introduce yourself
- When looking for a job, be specific – what kind of job are you looking for and where (location)?
- Add some information that shows that you visited this person’s profile, read some of the posts or articles he/she wrote and explain why this is important to you
Few practical tips:
- I use Canned Replies Google Chrome plugin that helps me with some templates
- I prefer to connect with new people using LinkedIn desktop. The phone app has a different configuration and if you click on the “connect” button, it sends the connection request without giving you the option of writing an introduction
- In order for your LinkedIn posts be highly visible, you must have +500 connections
- Look for people that are active on LinkedIn. They’re the most likely to connect and be willing to help you
- The “connect” button is hidden in some profiles (like mine). The reason for this is that I’m a LinkedIn creator – I regularly share content with my professional community. It’s good for many reasons except for new connections. You just need to click on the “More” button and then connect
- As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, don’t forget to nurture your relationships – like, comment and share your connections’ posts!
- Even if you think you’ve found the “perfect” job for you and for your skills, don’t stop attending networking events and meeting new people. Don’t wait until you need to look for a job to connect or reconnect with your professional network
- Last, but not least – give before asking. People willing to help are busy with their own personal and professional matters. If you offer your help, they’ll be more open to help you back! One idea is to volunteer for communities!
I hope you enjoyed reading this practical guide on networking! If you learned something new, I would really appreciate it if you could leave a comment!
My next blog post will be a bit more “boring”, but very important. I’ll share some tips on how to write a one-page CV that will help your resume pass the CV screening stage. Stick around!