It’s Not Who You Know But Who Knows You

HandshakeOne of my favorite questions to ask whenever I talk about networking, be it in my career exploration classes or to individual students, is something like:

“Have you heard of the saying ‘It’s all about who you know’ when it comes to getting a job or finding out about job opportunities?”

Most, if not all, answer my question with a yes or an affirmative head nod.

But then I’ll add:

“Well, it’s not all about who you know. Instead, it’s about who knows you.”

I’ll pause momentarily to let the meaning, due to the slight change in wording, take its effect. Then I’ll give my take on why “it’s about who knows you” and why it’s not “all about who you know.” Usually, I’ll begin with something like:

“I’m pretty good with names and faces. But what good is it if one day I need some help and none of these folks know, or remember, who I am?” Then I’ll go on with some related points.

That said, out of curiosity recently, I tried Googling the source of who first said, “It’s not who you know but who knows you.” My search was unsuccessful, but I eventually stumbled across a couple of great posts about this saying:

I liked how both posts incorporated the usefulness of social media. And don’t let Scott Allen’s April 1, 2008 fool you – though both of these articles are older posts, the information value is just the same today.


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