In the past, all networking was done in person, because there wasn’t really another option. Making face-to-face connections is still invaluable, but social media has made it very possible to expand your contact list from the comfort of your own computer.
It’s still wise to attend networking events regularly, but savvy professionals supplement this with a heavy dose of digital schmoozing. Networking in the Information Age allows you to expand your reach as far as you want, because physical location isn’t an issue.
4 Tips to Network Effectively in the Digital Era
Complete Your Profile
Share as much information as possible on any social media profiles used for professional purposes. If people don’t know what you’re about, they won’t take an interest in you — or even come across your profile. LinkedIn gauges profile completeness, because those with as much detail as possible attract more views. The more content available, the more likely you are to appear in search results.
Join Online Groups
Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are filled with people in your industry, and many are using online groups to connect. Strictly professional, conversations focus on topics like trends impacting the industry and jobs posted by members.
Find a few groups relevant to your industry and join them. Get noticed by participating in discussions and even starting a few of your own.
Make Digital Connections
Maximize your digital network by reaching out to people with jobs you’re interested in or who are employed by a company you’re interested in. More than 500 million people in 200 countries have a presence on LinkedIn, so you should be able to find plenty of people that could be invaluable to your career. Always include a personal note with LinkedIn invitations and Facebook requests to introduce yourself and explain why you want to connect.
Gain a Following
Build a robust social media presence to get the spotlight on you. Accomplish this by sharing industry-relevant content on a regular basis, engaging with your peers, following influencers and keeping accounts used for networking polished and professional.
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