Embracing our new realm of human connection doesn’t have to feel impersonal or distant. You can and should be forming new social ties online as a job seeker. Now more than ever, it’s acceptable to reach out to people remotely. There are no parties to socialize, no events to make new encounters, no coffee shops to frequent the way we once would. Take advantage of the world’s receptiveness to meet online and their giving attitude at a time when we all need it most.
Read on to consider the best ways to network online, make new genuine connections and unlock employment opportunities.
Boost your personal brand across platforms
You may be new to networking online and considering the best platform to start. Perhaps you have a few profiles spread across various social platforms and job boards. LinkedIn is great for building your career community and leveraging their support. However, be sure to make an impression on every platform you have an existing presence on, and seek out new ones to attract attention from your target audience or niche. For example, if you are a tech job seeker be sure to boost your profile on Hired to attract the right interest.
The lack of requests, followers or connections does not mean you are not being reviewed by real humans on the other side of your digital presence. It’s easy to post a profile and forget it exists. However, employers, recruiters, and employees of the platform are all viewing you and may be inspired to reach out to you directly if they like what you present, or conversely, they may retract interest if they find inconsistencies. Audit your profiles to ensure you are communicating your current intent in the market.
Get clear on what value you bring to the table as a professional, highlight your top skills and what your objective is. Be sure to carry a consistent narrative across platforms. You can change it at a later date as you pivot your search strategy but be sure to flip the switch across all mediums. Avoid confusing your audience that may cross-reference their findings from one profile to another.
Aside from consistency and career clarity, pay attention to content design and quality! Not only checking for typos and having concise formatting but add a photo and show off what you’re proud of, what matters to you and how your work has made an impact.
Get out of your comfort zone with outreach
Outreach can be petrifying, especially if you are a private person. Start with your warm leads. Your ‘warm’ leads are your friends of friends, acquaintances, old colleagues, alumni networks and associations. Think about your portals. Where do you spend your time online? Could you be searching #trending tags to help you reach a coach, recruiter or employer? Are you part of relevant groups? Do you join any virtual meetups? The more you put yourself out there, engage and get strategic with how you spend your time online, even with your daily scroll, the more likely you are to curate your way into creating new opportunities.
Set a goal to reach out to a set number of new people every day, this could be 5, 10 or 20! Pick one and hold yourself accountable and stretch yourself to increase the number weekly if you start low. Thoughtfully crafted messages are more likely to get you noticed; however, balance your time writing a great note with the momentum of sending notes in volume.
Be curious; focus on relationships not jobs
In a saturated market where people are inundated with messages, you are likely to see only a few people reading or paying attention. Therefore, the need to scale your efforts by sending a healthy amount of messages daily and to say something of genuine quality, matters.
The key to building trust in relationships is to go in with a ‘giving’ mindset. The more you are willing to give in your interaction; that is, offer value, concern or empathy, the more likely your thoughtful interactions will convert to the value you seek in return. Keep your messages brief, concise and personable without being too forthcoming. Examples would be, ‘I am keen on learning more about how you landed a role at X and happy to share some of my work on sustainability as I see it is one of our shared interests.’
Try to find common ground, offer an exchange of ideas or simply be polite and transparent about the help you are seeking. People are often willing to share their insights and form new connections, especially if you come across as genuine and interesting.