Networking — we all love to hate it. But when experts say that networking alone fills 85% of all jobs, it’s kinda hard to ignore. With 2021 continuing the trend of a new, more remote “normal” how does networking continue to prosper?
Going along with the other facets of job searching that have gone remote, virtual networking is doing it’s best to stay current. Going from handshakes to spotty connection and smiles to pixels can be trickier than it lets on. Here are a few foolproof tips and tricks to make virtual networking your b*tch!
Respond, respond, respond. Far too many LinkedIn messages go unanswered and Zoom coffee dates go solo, then the chances of landing that new position hits the fan. After connecting with someone on LinkedIn, send a little “Hi, my name is…” message and be sure to follow up on whatever they send back. Keeping these connections for future reference is a very strategic networking tool.
Don’t forget to connect with people you attend a networking or virtual job fair with!
Be As Impressive Online as You Are in Person
In-person networking allows for more of your personality to shine through, but all hope isn’t lost for your personality to be as vibrant on screen as it is when you’re shaking hands. Little tweaks to your resume like adding a colorful border or a fun, legible font can spice things up and help you stand out.
It’s a tough crowd out there. Currently, 660 million people are using LinkedIn in over 200 countries, so having a vibrant profile is more important than ever. Take any & every opportunity to show off your humor. If you are taking part in a virtual networking event; dress up, smile often, and choose a background that has good lighting so everyone can see your pearly whites!
Be Prepared and Well Planned
Same rules apply when you network online: ask questions, know yourself and come prepared. Virtual networking events test your ability to improvise and logging into Zoom prepared can help you be the best. Rehearse your introduction and write questions so you’ll never be surprised.
Be Diligent and Write Reviews
If there is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on how an event or interview went, share them! Writing reviews, good or bad, will give the business a chance to work out the kinks and grow to provide future users with a better experience. These completed reviews also show that you are a diligent candidate and can offer transparency to a company.
The most impressive thing you can show recruiters is you. Shine on and let your personality take the reins. Crack jokes, be talkative and jump out of the screen or text box — put in the effort and reap the benefits!
Virtual Networking Wrap-Up
Networking is essential to make moves in the business world, but everything gets fuzzy when it’s all virtual. Hopefully, these few tips and tricks can help you make an impact in your next venture!
By Keely Cohen-Breen