Network On The Go
If you’re serious about securing yourself the job you want, you’ll be networking and on the run for most of your time. This is why it’s imperative to have your online brand well positioned and social profiles set up correctly right from the start. This means you can work smart, right from your phone, without spending precious time in front of your computer at home when you could be meeting up for coffee, building those valuable relationships in person and finding opportunities through contacts.
These are my recommendations for networking on the go:
- Switch from surfing Facebook between appointments to networking on the LinkedIn app.
LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms for expanding your reach and improving your job search results through online networking. Not having a LinkedIn profile is like not having a prepared CV. It’s part of your personal brand, and an extension of your professional online persona. If you haven’t already, get a LinkedIn profile set up and learn how to use the associated apps on the go.
Five minutes between coffee catchups spent connecting with people on LinkedIn and sharing updates keeps your name on their radar. This time can be spent finding common links between yourself and your contact or company you are interested in, researching what they’re about and connecting with related groups in your niche.
- Download the LinkedIn Connected app to keep updated on existing connections.
This app allows you to keep in direct contact and nurture relationships with people you already know. It allows you to send them congrats on new roles or birthday wishes, and lets you know what they are up to in their life – much like an individual Facebook page feed.
It’s important that you keep up with what is happening in your connections lives so you don’t embarrass yourself by responding to LinkedIn’s automated ‘congratulatory new role’ reminders when the person is just updating their profile for example.
This is why it’s important to be strategic in your approach to who you contact, start conversations with or choose to send connection requests to – because they’ll become part of your network which means you have a responsibility to keep in contact with them. Nurture new relationships by sharing info that is thoughtful and relevant to them and things they have in common with you.
Virtual relationships take effort to maintain because you do not interact on a personal level most times, as in other relationships where you learn about the person by spending time with them. It’s best to see virtual networking relationships as opportunities to make plans to catch up for a coffee in person or to facilitate a connection where an in-person coffee is not possible. Keep in mind that networking is all about adding value and finding opportunities where you can.
- Connect with new people and reach out directly.
Always personalize your message by clicking ‘Customize Invite’ when sending a connection request. A generic message doesn’t say much about you, and when you’re beginning a relationship it’s important to display good etiquette as you would in person. It’s worth taking a few minutes to research the person you’re connecting with if you haven’t met them in person before, and it also doesn’t take much effort or time to add that little bit of context as to who you are and why you want to connect with them to your message.
Share interest related and useful articles that can add value to those people in groups or on your feed. Like posts and comment with useful insights on their posts. If you’re a content creator, share content from your other blogs, podcasts or LinkedIn posts with others. This builds your social proof and places you as an unofficial influencer.