North American employment experts claim that most available job opportunities are never advertised. This statistic is not limited to the U.S., but is equally true in Israel, where positions are primarily advertised by word-of-mouth and landed through successful networking.

Networking in Israel from Nefesh B’Nefesh

How do you find out about unadvertised positions in Israel if you are currently planning Aliyah or have recently become new Olim? In the U.S., Canada or England, you may have built up a network of professional contacts over time, through your connections in the community, from your school experiences and through past work environments. In Israel, you will need to create your own network from scratch, by investing time and energy into the process.

It’s never too early to start networking. If you are currently living outside of Israel, begin the process using emails and phone calls. Let friends and family in Israel know that you’re looking for work and ask if they have connections in your field. In addition, use the Internet (i.e., Linked In) to identify professional colleagues. If you need help building up your network, contact the Nefesh B’Nefesh Employment Department, which maintains a comprehensive list of professionals (most of them Olim) who are happy to help you. You can reach the Employment Department at employment@nbn.org.il.

A popular way to expand your network is through in-person meetups. Here are some places you can access information about upcoming meetups:

👭👬Meetups

Online networking tools offer a highly effective method for networking. You can connect with other professionals in Israel and learn about job opportunities in your field. Here are some online groups/forums you can check out to expand your network:

The first time you email a new contact, it is best not to ask directly about job openings. Rather, ask for advice about the job market based on the individual’s professional experience, and obtain names of additional contacts in the field. Each person can provide you with three or four additional names. The next time you visit Israel, set up informal meetings with each of your new contacts.

Successful networking requires an energetic, persistent, sensitive and professional approach. Much has been written about the art of networking, both in print and online. For more in-depth information, the book What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bowles is an excellent resource.