I think that few people really ever run the risk of being over-exposed in a job search or any area of their career when it comes to networking. While it can happen in theory, it is rare. 99.9% of all people will never have to worry about this.... in fact, the majority of the people have the exact opposite problem -- they are not out there enough.
I see people looking for excuses NOT to network far more than I see anyone really becoming “over-exposed”.
This is a hot topic this week in the social media world. Chris Brogan recently announced on his blog that he had to re-draw the way he communicates with those who communicate with him via social media, email,etc.. Chris is a rock star in social media and has thousands of people commenting weekly on his blog and tweets.
However, Chris Brogan's action has caused a many people to come up with similar ideas about how they respond to others they encounter. They are claiming “see, it wont scale!!!”. But they are NOWHERE near the levels of communications that are piled on Chris. These people are lucky to have dozens of comments in a month, … but they see Chris’s pronouncement that he is over-extended as a reason to be able to hide from networking opportunities and toss aside the advantages they could find from being directly engaged with people.
It is true that networking cannot scale indefinitely (I applaud Chris Brogan, not only for the decision he made, but for his being honest and open about it). I wrote an article last year about how "Networking IS Different When You Are At The Top". This addressed the realities that when you are higher up the ladder of responsibility, you have less time and more people wanting to get on your calendar. It does not mean you get to stop networking or make excuses.... it is just different.
Most people are NOT over-extended at all…. they just don't know how to manage their networking time (online or offline).
I think that job seekers should not be worried about being over-exposed, but instead be concerned about how are they impacting the people they meet. You can NEVER be over-exposed if you are working to help other people and making positive efforts to assist those in your community.
If you are just showing up trying to find a job (or a new client, etc...), yep, that can get old. But nobody tires of those who are looking to contribute to every situation they encounter!
Have A Great Day