One other thing that hasn’t changed . . . There are still people who make the transition into a new job quickly and relatively painlessly, and other people with similar experience/credentials who go months or years without these same nibbles. I credit the difference to two things: 1) How the person felt about their expectations of success, and 2) How far they strayed from their computer.
Dave Jensen, Moderator at scienceCareers has this interesting post on how bombarding people with new communication channels (e-mails etc) won’t work better than face-to-face or any other traditional means. Networking seems to be fashionable, with books like Ferrazi’s Never eat alone getting really popular. Is it really the case that academics do no not pay much attention to email networking? Do you really need to get away of your computer to keep your contacts alive? I find this surprising considering how multi-authored papers have grown with the use/abuse of email. But of course, looking for a job may be a different thing. Is really a phone call better?