How effective is online networking for your career?
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the way we live our lives, it is also affecting how we think about work – and looking for new roles.
Global lockdowns have seen internet traffic increase by 50% worldwide, supporting anecdotal evidence that as a society we have recently become more ‘online’ than ever before. With Zoom meetings to attend, webinars to participate in, House Parties to virtually crash and Tik Toks to recreate, the internet has provided us with entirely new ways to fill our time and do our jobs. But what about those of us who want to use this time to expand our professional networks, or perhaps prepare ourselves to search for new roles? Is digital networking possible, and how can we maximise the powers of the internet to expand our networking reach?
Power up your profiles
Before you start making connections and participating in conversations, now is the perfect time to revisit – and rework - your networking profiles. An obvious place to start is LinkedIn, the online networking platform that boasts 675 million monthly users and is often the first port of call for recruiters looking to make connections with potential candidates. A strong LinkedIn profile can make all the difference when it comes to standing out in the job market, or simply allowing you to boost your professional presence and become more of an industry leader. Tips to optimise your LinkedIn profile include creating a personalised URL, updating to a recent professional photo, editing your headline to include keywords and terms that are often searched for in your industry and updating your contact and work experience details to better reflect your career journey.
In addition to LinkedIn, explore other areas you can host professional profiles. You may even want to create your own web page, site or portfolio online through WordPress, Magento, Squarespace, Wix or even on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms you already use.
Contribute and connect
Once you’ve established your online presence, the next step is to become more active in conversations that are aligned with your industry or career goals. This can be as simple as re-sharing Tweets, posts or articles generated by others in your field, commenting with your thoughts on posts or even simply thanking a thought leader for sharing their insights. Use hashtags to help find relevant content quickly and ensure any posts you make can be found with other like-minded comments. Regular activity on social network sites – particularly LinkedIn – can help algorithms to ensure your profile has more visibility than those than remain dormant.
Look for industry groups and discussions within your networking platforms to join and contribute to. LinkedIn makes this easy – simply typing in “renewable energy” into the search bar and specifying the “groups” option brings up networks such as Renewable Energy World, the Renewable Energy Network and Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals. Join groups that are relevant to your industry, career aspirations and interests and you’re in the perfect setting to start connecting and communicating.
Don’t be shy
One of the benefits of online versus in-person networking is that many people find it intimidating to approach and connect with people at events or in the workplace. The online effect gives many people confidence and has the added bonus of allowing people to respond in their own time. Make the most of this and connect with peers, recruitment consultants and even those industry leaders you look up to. Social networking platforms make it easy to send and accept connection requests, and you’ll have even more chance of making a valuable connection if you introduce yourself and explain why you’d like to connect.
Once you’re feeling confident, consider publishing your own industry insights and opinions on your networks. You can blog, create long-form posts on LinkedIn or simply post questions or ideas on your social network of choice. Share content you’ve contributed to, reach out to others and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Take your next career steps with Quanta
While Coronavirus has changed the way people working and job hunting, it’s not changing the focus many people have on taking the next career step. Interviews may be online now, but they are happening, and we have plenty of opportunities for candidates looking for a new career move. Take a look at our jobs to get started or read through more of our insights.