Is it one of your new year’s resolutions to step up your virtual networking game? If not, it should be. Whether you are happily employed or deep into your job search adventure, networking is a vital professional tool to expand your knowledge, meet industry leaders, and maybe even discover new job opportunities. This is especially true with the lack of in-person networking events, a trend that might stick around more than you think. So, if you are new to networking, here are a few tips for newbies.
Don’t limit your virtual networking to LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a fabulous professional networking tool, but it’s not the only one. So many people new to virtual networking make the mistake of limiting themselves to LinkedIn. Facebook, for example, is also a valuable virtual networking tool with a growing platform of Mastermind/Facebook Groups. These groups can be anything from like-minded professionals in your field sharing new ideas, job search tips, or even local groups dedicated to hiring events and job postings. Joining these groups and interacting with others is just as valuable as LinkedIn or any other networking site.
Be active and consistent
Regardless of what platform you are using to network virtually, you need to be active and consistent. If you want to make a splash, you must engage with others. You can do this by commenting on other people’s posts, reaching out to them to hear their opinion, or sending them a calendar invite to have a further conversation. These are all great ways to interact and network with others. Also, don’t be afraid to post something new in one of these groups. It can be a little intimidating to ask questions or share your thoughts, but sharing your ideas can spark an interesting conversation. Starting a discussion is an excellent way to meet new people and gain valuable connections!
Attend virtual events
Thanks to the pandemic, many tradeshows and other networking events around the world have gone online. These online events and webinars are an excellent way to gain valuable information about a topic in your field and meet new professionals to add to your network. With all of these events going virtual, they have become more readily accessible to attendees. Instead of having to drop everything to attend one of these events, you can register online and join from the comfort of your home or office. Say hello to hundreds of exciting virtual events that you can now attend, regardless of your location or travel budget!
Now, it can be a little more challenging to meet other attendees at these virtual events. However, it’s not impossible. With everything going virtual, these events are promoted online. Event hosts will likely be discussing these events on social media and encourage attendees to share their experiences with specific hashtags. Thus, you can browse who is engaging with this event online and reach out to them virtually to share your experience or thoughts on the event. This may seem less authentic than bumping into someone in person, but this is a great way to build your network.
Join us on LinkedIn for job search and hiring advice
These are three easy virtual networking tips for those looking to bolster their networking this year. If you are searching for more career advice, job search tips, or hiring secrets, join the conversation on LinkedIn. We regularly share helpful tips and tricks with anything to do with hiring and job searching. Follow us on LinkedIn today and come say hello!