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Business professionals should be constantly expanding their network. Whether you are currently working remotely or not, making new connections is more difficult when you aren’t able to meet people at in-person events or meetings. Here are some tips to keeping you engaged in the business community while still abiding by pandemic guidelines.
Have you looked at your LinkedIn profile lately? Social media is the easiest and most available resource out there when trying to network. Make sure your profile includes a recent picture, resume, job title, and if you are looking for work. If you don’t post regularly, consider updating your followers every so often on where you are in life and your career. That way if someone decides to look at your profile, they get a realistic picture of you and your situation.
There are thousands of online groups and communities on Facebook and LinkedIn, so take some time to search around and join any relating to your interests. Social media is also a great way to casually reach out to someone who has a position or career that you’re curious about. You may or may not get a response, but it can’t hurt to send a brief and polite message with some questions or contact information.
Due to the pandemic, most interviews, meetings, or introductions are done over video call. It is vital you take these calls just as serious as in-person meetings. You should be dressed in business casual clothing (at least from the waist up), have neat hair, and an acceptable background. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and don’t get distracted by your phone or surroundings. Not everyone has the perfect zoom set up, so choose a virtual background and use headphones if you need to.
Many tech and business symposiums are still being put on virtually. Some of these are purely for presentation, while others are interactive. Research which events relating to your career are being held and take every opportunity to participate. There may be breakout rooms available where you are able to chat with a recruiter, ask questions, or simply introduce yourself to someone new. Everything is a networking opportunity. The key is being proactive.
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