Networking in a Virtual World
The COVD-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact and communicate, both personally and professionally. Virtual networking events make it easy for job seekers to connect with hiring managers and other professionals until we can once again meet face-to-face. Here are tips to present your best self at your next virtual event.
Take time to prepare
Prepare for virtual networking events like you would for an in-person interview. Have your resume updated and readily available to discuss. It is also a good idea to come prepared with an introduction: brief talking points about who you are, your experience and your career goals. And don’t forget to give some thought to your appearance–dress professionally from head to toe!
Research the host and the company
Before the event, research who is hosting. Have their information available and come up with questions to ask. The most important question you can ask is “Why?” This shows your interest in learning more, will get and keep conversations going, and can help you stand out from other job seekers. After the virtual event, send a follow-up email to the host, thanking them for their time.
Update your social media profiles
Your social media accounts are often how others are first introduced to you. Before you start virtual networking, check that your social media is professional. After the event, use social media to connect with other professionals with an authentic, clear and concise message about yourself and what you found interesting about networking event. Avoid using casual abbreviations, such as “LOL” in conversations.
Though the way we interact right now is different, keep in mind that virtual networking is still a human interaction. You’ll just need to work a little harder to build meaningful, professional relationships. Be intentional with your networking strategy and find creative ways to stay connected with others beyond the event.
Are you looking for a job? Check out West Michigan Work’s Virtual Job Fair! You can speak directly to local employers who are hiring now. Register online July 20-24 at westmiworks.org/virtual-job-fair/.