In a time where social gatherings are being avoided and many people are working from home, what’s the best way to grow your network without being able to meet face to face? Networking online has always been a valuable tool for career-seekers and can be leveraged even more now. Follow the tips below to keep making contact (virtually, that is!) with the right people who will help you land your dream job.
Tip #1: Make the First Move - You won’t get far into your network without having the confidence to reach out! Whether through email, messenger, or LinkedIn, always start your message with a respectful greeting.
Tip #2: Make the Connection – A simple line stating “you may recall we met at ________ event” or “it was suggested I reach out to you by a mutual friend, (name)” will either initiate or remind your contact of a personal connection.
Tip #3: Know Your Stuff – Know more than your contact’s job title. What are their contributions to the field? Be able to demonstrate your knowledge of their industry.
Tip #4: Do the ‘Ask’ – You need to establish a relationship (remember #2!) before you can come right out and ask for a job. Networking is a process – don’t rush it. If this is your first reach out, let them know you’re interested in the particular field they work in, and ask if they would be willing to have a 10-minute informational interview – by phone - with you at their convenience.
Tip #5: Circle Back- If your contact gives you tips on job or training opportunities, or connects you with another contact, do your follow up and always re-connect to let them know how it went –and don’t forget to thank them!