Although we are living in a digital age, many job openings are still not advertised publicly. Instead, they are filled through referrals and professional networking. In this article, we will share some tips on how to be an effective online networker.
1. Polish your online presence
Before you get started, make sure you update your profiles on the networking platforms that you are using. Upload a professional profile photo, write a compelling headline, job description and summary, and list your relevant achievements, experience and skills. When you are building your profile, try seeing it through the eyes of a potential employer. A long profile does not always mean a good one. Keep your information short and concise. A well-thought-out profile can be more powerful than you think.
In addition, do not forget to review your other social media channels. Potential employers and recruiters often look up candidates on social media, so it might be wise to delete any controversial posts and check your privacy settings. Search your name online to make sure you have not missed anything.
2. Build a balanced network
One of the best things about networking is that it can give you a new perspective on your career. When you are building your network, make sure to add people outside of your sector as well. The area that you are working in probably overlaps with other industries. Think about what they could be and find relevant people from these domains. You never know where a referral can come from.
3. Personalise your messages
One of the biggest networking mistakes professionals make is to send out impersonal messages. The more generic your message, the more likely it is that the person you are contacting will consider it spam and ignore it. Before you add someone to your network, explore their profile and see what you have in common. It does not always have to be professional experience – you might be supporting similar social causes or have common educational interests. Make sure to start your message with why you are contacting that person and what made you choose them.
4. Be active
Joining a professional network is not enough to get noticed. You need to stick out by actively posting and sharing relevant content, and by engaging with posts. Show the network your passion for the field you are in.
5. Be knowledgeable
Remember that quantity does not mean quality. Make sure that your posts are relevant and that your contributions have a purpose. If people notice that you are simply posting content for the sake of it, they will stop paying attention to your activity in the network.
6. Help out
Networking is reciprocal, meaning that you should also be on the look-out for good referrals. If you help someone to find a job, they might be able to return the favour in the future.
We hope that these tips will boost your online networking skills.