Network from Your Couch (or Office Chair)

Matt| May 21, 2015| News

Over the past few years, networking has shifted away from happy hours and coffee shops toward social media. You don’t have to be the savviest online communicator to get results, but putting in some effort is an absolute must.

The good news is that networking online doesn’t cost anything beyond a way to connect to the Internet and your time. That simple investment can lead to the opening of doors you didn’t even know existed.

Set up profiles and join groups

If you’re starting from absolute scratch on LinkedIn, Twitter or any other social network, the first things you need to do are set up and design a profile. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. Just create a profile that is appropriate for that particular social media platform. For example, don’t put an image from last week’s happy hour up as your profile picture on LinkedIn.

Next, join some active professional groups that are in your particular industry. There are a lot of groups available however some can be spammy or dormant for long periods of time. If a particular group isn’t working for you – just move onto the next one.

Connect to people you already know

You might feel like a newborn after setting up a profile, but remember that you do know people from school, past jobs – or simply from your social circle. Reconnect with these folks over social media and see what they’ve been up to during the past few years. You may find that an old college roommate can set you up with the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

After reconnecting, make an effort to stay in touch by commenting on something these contacts have posted. Don’t be inappropriate or go overboard with chatter. Just try to have genuine interaction with someone you already have a relationship with from the “real world.”

Connect to people just ahead of you in the industry

This one can be the toughest, feel the most forced and be the most frustrating… try to reach out to people just a few rungs ahead of you on the industry ladder.

Like your interactions with old friends’ or former co-workers’ posts, try to interact with posts from these prospective contacts by taking a genuine interest in what they’re putting up. If they’re really popular and have a lot of followers, you may get lost in the mix. However, the people who do respond to you could turn out to be a valuable connection – maybe even a future friend or colleague.

If you’re not getting any momentum try different approaches when reaching out. Maybe you’re not bringing enough personality to the interactions. Perhaps you’re bringing too much. Tweak your interactions and see what works best.

At Long Island Temps, we know that networking is a large part of moving forward in your career path, and we’re prepared to help you every step of the way.