It’s not what you know, but who you know

Work in Progress: Employment expert Danielle Berkowitz offers her advice on how to navigate the Israeli job market.

Israeli Jobs (photo credit: Thinkstock)
Israeli Jobs
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
Relocation Jobs provides global relocation and employment services, offering comprehensive solutions for international companies with Global HR needs.
One of the unique features of the Israeli job market is the influence of the Israeli network. In a small country, with obligatory military service and strong connections among extended family, it can seem as though everyone knows everyone. Israelis have the advantage of arriving for an interview or meeting with scores of common acquaintances.
How can non-Israelis minimize the dissonance when they are trying to enter the job market? Relocation Jobs has gathered some tips and techniques to help job seekers make a graceful entrance into the Israeli network.
Make connections
Non-Israelis can start gathering contacts and expanding their network even before arrival. Use networks in your home country to request contact details for friends and family in Israel. Israeli friendliness will often spread through the network to make this easy and fun.  Do not be surprised to receive even unsolicited contacts. By the time the plane lands, non-Israelis may find they have an address book full of Israeli connections. Of course it is necessary to contact new connections. Non-Israelis may need to overcome inhibitions or qualms about asking connections for assistance, but will soon find that Israelis are eager to help.
Do your research
Before departure, gather knowledge of the job market, especially companies operating globally. Prepare a list of these target companies; they are always looking for native speakers. Search company websites for job openings and appropriate contacts. An introductory message can help foster a connection.
A lead can go a long way
Arriving in Israel with a few leads will go a long way as a foundation for an Israeli network. If already in Israel, these methods can still be useful, with a few adjustments. One might even be able to dig up a few business cards or contact details passed on before departure.
Be sociable
Once in Israel there are many opportunities and forums for meeting new people to expand social horizons. Internet searches and social media will yield many organizations, groups and events for all kinds of networking to further your job search. Whether it’s breakfast, dinner or cocktails, dress for success with a smile on your face; Israel is laid back and casual. Relax, enjoy the atmosphere and be prepared to acquire business cards and new friends.

Don't beat around the bush
During all networking at every stage, it is important to follow through. When sending emails, make sure to be clear and to the point about your interests, skills and languages. Israelis appreciate brevity, even on CVs. The Israeli network need not be an impediment in a job search or career development. Israeli culture is open and embracing once one steps into it.
Relocation Jobs provides comprehensive solutions for companies with international HR needs.