Looking for a new job can be a daunting task. However, many people go about it in the same way, so you can make yourself stand out as a candidate and get to the front of the job market crowd by networking online.
Online networking can help to grow your knowledge and confidence around the industry. If you have the right qualifications too, this will inevitably impress in an interview.
Getting into a positive mindset
Getting your mindset right before you start is key to going about job hunting and online networking in the best way.
Don’t think of every interaction as trying to get you a new job. Let things unfold naturally. See everything as an opportunity to learn. Think about how you can contribute, giving recommendations and helping others. Give first and then you will receive.
Try not to have any expectations or to fixate on a particular outcome. Enjoy the personal growth and experience you gain from putting yourself out there, regardless of what happens. After all, you never know what might lead to an opportunity further down the line.
This mindset will do wonders to set you apart from other job seekers, and it will allow you to give your quest for a new job your best shot without worrying about a specific desired ending.
Moving in the right circles
The brilliant thing about social media platforms is that you can see lots about what other people are up to. Things like what groups they are part of, what qualifications they have, who else they are connected to and what events they are attending. If nothing else at first, just watch and listen.
It takes a while to tune in to how different networks work, to build relationships and become part of communities. People are busy, and they might not remember you after one of two interactions. Still, if you prioritise it, dedicate time, start showing up consistently and becoming a valuable member of a network, people will soon take notice.
Always be willing to help others, but make sure you’re not always the smartest person in the room.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, get a new room.”
Don’t be intimidated if people are more experienced than you. Don’t compare your chapter five to someone else’s chapter 12. You will learn from others with more or different experiences. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. People love to help. Being able to ask questions shows confidence, that you’re interested and therefore, that you’re interesting.
Attend relevant online events – it’s a great way to get up to speed and demonstrate you’re a proactive person, enthusiastic about learning, and you never know who you might meet. These events and learnings will be great to talk about in job interviews.
14 tips for setting yourself apart when online networking
- Do your research. Social media is a great place to listen and learn, even if you aren’t confident enough to post yet.
- Make sure your profiles are up to date with your experience and qualifications and that they look professional while also showing your personality. When you start making new connections, they will be looking at your profile, so ensure it does you justice.
- Start following your dream companies to work for and aim high.
- After online events, connect with the other people that were there.
- Always read the person’s profile before connecting and add a personalised note to connection requests. It will make you much more memorable.
- If you attend an event, read a blog post or article that you enjoy, tell the person who organised or wrote it.
- Be genuine and be yourself.
- Always bring a positive, helpful and polite attitude.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help; people love to help.
- Share your own content.
- Never brag.
- See if people are willing to intro you to others if the opportunity arises.
- Give recommendations and introductions when you can. What goes around, comes around.
- Always thank people.
Turn yourself into a candidate who’s too good to miss out on. And remember, it’s as much for you to find a company that fits you as it is for them to find an employee that’s a good match. They will be lucky to have you.
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Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.