The world is in the middle of something most of the planet has never experienced before, and it’s hitting the job market hard. With a record 23.1 million American’s having filed for unemployment it might feel like job seekers won’t be able to keep the momentum of their job search going—but there’s more than one way to network!
Even though we have to maintain the rules of social distancing right now, it’s still possible to keep a good amount of networking going. Networking is still a huge part of the working world and a great way to set yourself up for success. Experts say that about 70 percent of people ended up in their current position through someone they know.
But how do you continue to keep networking while social distancing? Well, it’s not as difficult as you might think.
Update your online presence.
Regardless of what you think, employers do care about how you look online. Now that you have more free time at home, you have a chance to update everything about you online—social media, your profiles on job sites, and your resume. Take advantage of the time you have to clean up your Instagram photos and update your resume with any recent and relevant work you’ve been doing. Also, make sure that you have consistency across all the job site profiles you have. When you have a clean and professional online presence, you are more likely to have fruitful interactions with the people you are connecting with online.
Join online groups.
Social Networks like LinkedIn and Facebook offer a great opportunity keep networking while you’re stuck in the house. There are hundreds of networking-focused LinkedIn and Facebook groups out there, you are bound to find one that suits your purpose. A simple Google search for ‘best career groups to join’ or something more specific to your industry should turn up a ton of results. Even asking for advice on these social platforms to your friends and colleagues could lead you to a group that will change your career path.
Attend virtual networking events.
Even though gathering in groups in not happening at the moment and companies are working from home, there are still events happening online. Attending virtual networking events is a good way to learn something new while you network with others. When you see a speaker who you like or a fellow attendee, make a comment you respected, reach out to them. This will open up networking opportunities you would not have otherwise come across. Eventbrite is a great tool to use to find events like these, as are online groups. Just because you have to keep social distancing, doesn’t mean you can’t be social.
Follow businesses and influential voices in your industry on social media
If you follow leading businesses in your field and their leaders or those who are influential in that arena on social platforms like Twitter, you’ll not only stay up to date on the latest industry trends, but you’ll also have the opportunity to engage with others in your field. Share your thoughts, let your colleagues know when you find their article or comments to be well researched and articulated. This is also a great way to have a presence online, do some online networking, and stay apprised with what’s happening in your space all at the same time.
No matter the tactics you use to create amazing online professional connections, the most important thing is that you try and stay genuine. However professional it is, people still want to connect with people—not a sales pitch. Stay true to who you would be in-person as you navigate the online networking world and be honest about your experiences.