It’s not what you know but who you know, as the adage goes, but is there any truth in it?
Whilst we’d like to think that our career success is mainly driven by our hard work and accomplishments, that’s only part of the story. How we interact with others and what connections we make can determine the opportunities open to us. Over the past two years, we’ve moved at lightning speed towards a more digital world as our in person networking has been curtailed. With that in mind, we’ve put together our five key tips for networking in a digital world.
1. Utilise recruitment agencies
You don’t have to be on the hunt for a job to utilise recruitment agencies. Establishing relationships with recruiters should be part of your ongoing networking strategy. Many agencies have online portals and career hubs where you can browse jobs and upload a resume. Some also have a range of blogs that provide useful advice for job seekers. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse, connecting with a consultant online is a great way to stay abreast of opportunities.
2. Supercharge your social media
Up the ante on your social media networking. Make sure you have a presence on the channels most relevant to your career and set a target for posting relevant content. LinkedIn will be the key channel for most of your networking so be sure to keep your profile up to date. You can start networking by commenting on posts from people in the industry and by following movers and shakers. It’s also good practice to send a connect request to anyone new you meet through your work as it helps broaden your network and boost your profile.
3. Online event networking
Challenge yourself by signing up for webinars and online events. While it is easy to hibernate when in person events cannot go ahead, being seen remains important. Remember that these virtual events present opportunities to create new connections and strengthen existing ones. Prepare the same way you would for in person events; make sure you’re well presented if you’re going to be on screen and be ready to reach out to others you meet. Always follow up after these events, whether it’s a thank you to the organisers or a call to someone you met.
4. Contribute to your network
Consider how you can contribute to your network. Whether it’s sharing an article with a connection or signing up to mentor someone in your industry, it’s important to give back. If there are opportunities for volunteering at online events or helping someone who’s new to the industry, take them. The network you build will only sustain itself if you nurture it.
5. Become a subject matter expert
Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert can help elevate your profile and make new connections, particularly on social media. If LinkedIn is relevant to your career, think about what your area of expertise is and consider publishing an article. Talk to your employer about opportunities to share your knowledge internally and externally.
Being smart about digital networking can raise your profile and ensure you stay connected during the pandemic. Being diligent with your networking will pay off; you’ll have insider knowledge into upcoming roles and a range of people who will be happy to write referrals. You’ll also be setting yourself up for success and creating a support network that you can draw on for information and advice.