Add Me To Your List For More Opportunity

Saturday, June 06, 2009
I cannot overstress something I have learned over the last few years: the value of listservs. While many of us are aware of the importance of networking and getting to know people who know people when it comes to the job hunt (at conferences, on LinkedIn, etc.), listservs are another avenue online to find out about opportunities and to make connections. Listservs are online mass mailings, where you must go find the listserv, add yourself as a member, and only at that point, will you receive the group's emails. It is similar to subscription mailings, although there is no price to join, and you may quit at any time.

If you are not utilizing listservs, why not? Is it that you hate having so many emails hitting your inbox each day? There are two options. You could create a free email account just for listserver mailings, or sign up on digest mode. Digest mode means all of the emails are saved, compiled, then sent to you only once a day or once a week.

Listservs can include ones through professional organizations, clubs, and even just groups joined together for a common cause. For example, I am on a listserv for women writers through WOW, a social science graduate-degree recipient one through Duke (attending Duke is not a requisite to join!), multiple history and international affairs ones (related to internship work), ones through my alma maters, anthropology-related groups, and the list goes on.

Beyond finding people in professions I am interested in and being able to ask questions offlist, I have been able to volunteer on projects I would have never heard about otherwise. I have also been able to find and apply for jobs and internships not necessarily listed in job search engines like Likewise, some short-term subcontracted freelance writing gigs have emerged. I have found new websites and software programs to help with my academic work too. Reading through the emails does not take much time, and many times, there is not anything of interest to me, but other days have made up for all of it and some, with great opportunities to get ahead.

Long story short, there are a lot of benefits to be found by joining some listservs. Feel free to share listservs you are part of which help with writing and freelancing, or your personal success stories from tapping into listservs.


Nancy J. Cohen said...

You're right; listserves are an important part of the marketing and promotion aspect of writing. You can learn a lot and make new contacts, keep up with writing friends, and get your name out there. And if you're too busy one day, just scan the topics and go to the posts that interest you.

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