How can I network authentically? (with Jena Viviano)

This week I’m talking with career coach Jena Viviano about how to find a job, and without giving everything away, let me tell you that a perfect resume is NOT the answer. Jena gets real about some of the biggest mistakes she sees job hunters make, and we talk about the job hunt criteria they don’t teach you in school, how to network like a human, and why she’s breaking up with resumes.


Ugh, networking

Job hunting is…the worst. We spend hours searching through job boards, perfecting our resumes, and brushing up on our interview skills, but do any of those efforts pay off? It turns out that most hiring managers only spend 6 seconds (?!) on your resume, so you'll need to do way more stand out from the crowd. And I hate to break it to you, but that means networking.

The good news is that network doesn't have to be awkward and cringe-worthy. To help us network authentically and land the job, I'm excited to host career coach Jena Viviano (formerly @ The Muse).

What you'll learn
  • How to define what you want in your dream job
  • The career criteria that no one taught Jena (or Melissa) in school
  • Why you shouldn’t stress so much about perfecting your resume…and what you should be focusing on instead
  • How to network confidently and authentically (without making it weird)
  • How to build a genuine relationship with someone over time
  • How to pitch yourself and effectively answer the question, “Tell me about yourself”


This week's guest

Jena Viviano

Finding a job, let alone a fulfilling career, can be stressful. That’s where Jena Viviano comes in. Jena is a Nashville-based virtual career coach and entrepreneur who knows what it’s like to go through multiple career changes. She’s worked on Wall Street as an investment banker, reported live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and scored a job at a growing career startup, The Muse, before launching her virtual coaching practice full-time.

Her sweet spot is helping go-getter professionals all over the world articulate their branded career story to land their dream jobs. Learn more at

This week's “Try It Out Challenge”

Network like a human

Even if you aren’t searching for a job, taking time to build relationships in your professional network is so important. But just like building a new friendship or romantic relationship, real connections are built over time, and you have to start small.

That’s why this week’s “Try It Out” challenge is to reach out to one person you’d like to know better. If you’re searching for a job, choose someone at a company you’re researching. If you’re growing your career, reach out to a peer or someone in a role similar to yours. Or if those options don’t apply, just find someone you think is interesting who you’d like to connect with.

In any case, remember that your goal is to send a genuine message and build an authentic connection, so think about this as starting a relationship, not asking for a favor.

Let us know how it goes!

Did you try this one out? Tell us more about your experience in the comments. (Or, let us know if you have networking tips of your own!)

Episode references

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