94% of employers use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to vet their candidates. Who’s to say they’re not doing the same across all the other platforms or even conducting a simple Google search. Your online presence can influence your career prospects both negatively and positively. Before making the decision to start virtual networking and even job searching, start by looking yourself up.
Search for your name, any old accounts you have, update your privacy settings, and get rid of anything that may be unsavoury as this could be damaging to your professional brand.
Update your virtual portfolio.
Platforms such a LinkedIn and its alternatives are great tools to network on. Did you know that LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform? It’s a great way to not only actively job search, but it’s also to optimise SEO and the LinkedIn algorithm, drawing recruiters to your profile. Updating your portfolio – whether this is your CV, website, LinkedIn profile, etc. is a great way to stay organised and have everything you have done (your past experience, education, skills, etc.) on hand to pass on to recruiters when the time comes.
Build a network.
In order to network virtually, you first need to connect with people. 35.5 million people reported being hired by someone they connected with on LinkedIn. What organisations are you looking at for jobs? Who works there? Can you connect with them on LinkedIn? What about industry groups and forums? Starting with a couple of people and going off from there really helps you to build an effective network to help you in your job search. Remember to also introduce yourself, for example when requesting to connect ensure you are sending a personalised message to each connection.
Now that you’ve connected with people, are you actually engaging with their content? What conversations are they taking part in? What virtual events are there for you to attend and use as a networking event? It’s about getting your name out there and you never know, your next boss can be just a mouse click away.
What do you do when you’ve successfully engaged with someone and they reach out to you? Take the initiative and reach out to them for advice, ask to send them your CV if they have the time, ask about their career journeys, etc. Why not ask if you could have a virtual coffee meet? This way you are on your way to virtual networking.
For more tips to help you on your job search, check out our Virtual ACE Programme and sign up to get access to great careers.
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