In a job search connections count. Finding the name and contact information for a key decision maker in your industry, job function, or at a particular company can help you bypass the job boards and make a meaningful connection with a hiring manager without getting lost in a sea of applicants. But how do you find the right contacts?
Jigsaw is a tool that can help. Jigsaw is the largest online, crowd-sourced directory, containing more than 24 million business contacts. Jigsaw is updated by a community of more than 1.5 million members, and uses the power of crowd-sourcing to create one of the most complete and accurate directory of business contact information available.
AOL Jobs recently interviewed Scott Holden, senior director of product marketing for Salesforce.com, owners of Jigsaw, to talk about this powerful tool.
Q. How does Jigsaw work?
A. Jigsaw contains only business contact data such as name, company, title, work phone, work e-mail, and work address. By setting up a free account at Jigsaw, anyone can access the Jigsaw database, and can accumulate points by helping to maintain the quality of contacts in the directory. Members can redeem these points for access to other contact records and recognition within the Jigsaw community.
Q. How can someone use Jigsaw in their job search?
A. Job seekers can use Jigsaw in a few ways. First, make sure that your entry in Jigsaw is up to date so that companies looking for someone with your qualifications can easily find and contact you.
Secondly, job hunters can use Jigsaw to identify people working at a prospective employer who may be able to help get in contact with a hiring manager at their target company. Whether you're looking for a Human Resources director to send your resume to, or you're trying to set up an informational interview with someone in a department you're interested in, Jigsaw can help you find the people you need to. Often the process of finding the right person and the right contact information can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. That's where a tool like Jigsaw can be so valuable.
For example, if you're looking for an HR manager at a manufacturing company in Seattle, you can type in your search and find all relevant people and companies that fit that criteria. You can also filter results by company and position to drill down into others at the company who could potentially help you in your search.
Q. What was the inspiration for Jigsaw?
A. Jigsaw was actually created out of a point of pain. Founder Jim Fowler saw that companies were buying contact lists for their sales teams that were outdated and not useful. People are switching jobs or changing titles so often that these lists are obsolete almost as soon as you get them. Jim realized that the only way to update the data as quickly, as it changes, is to crowd-source it, and Jigsaw's 1.5 million member community has helped keep such data accurate and up-to-date. Thousands of contacts are added and updated to Jigsaw daily. Not only does Jigsaw keep sales people in the know, but it's also become a valuable resource for job hunters.
Q. What is your favorite feature on the site?
A. Trying to find the right person in a database of 24 million contacts can be pretty scary, but Jigsaw has made it really easy for people to find exactly whom they're looking for. You can search and refine results by company, position (C-level, VP, director, manager, assistant, etc.), department, geography, industry, employee numbers, revenue, or even Fortune rank (Fortune 500 or Fortune 1,000). Having a database that's as comprehensive as Jigsaw is only valuable if people can find exactly who they're looking for, and Jigsaw has done a really good job with this.Q. What's on the horizon for Jigsaw?
A. Jigsaw has a tremendously active and enthusiastic community, so it will be really exciting to watch the community continue to grow. We also have plans to expand our data to include more countries internationally, so more people around the world will be able to use and contribute to the database.