You have probably heard that networking is the best strategy for job search. You get most of your interviews through people, you know. That’s why going out there and meeting new people is the way to go, right? However, when the world is still recovering from COVID and social gathering is still prohibited, going out there is no longer an option. At this point in our lives, we are all pretty much limited to zoom meetings.
Ever since we started this WFH thing, zoom took over. Of course, it is not the same as meeting in person, but it’s better than nothing. Besides, over the last few months, these online meetings have gotten a lot better since people had a chance to learn what works and what doesn’t. Besides, more and more companies and organizations are starting to host virtual networking events. I recommend you check them out.
Virtual networking is growing big.
Now that we are on the verge of getting out of the pandemic lockdown, many new job opportunities are opening up. Now is a perfect time to look around and get a really good understanding of what employers are looking for. And the best way to learn this is through networking.
Virtual networking is growing big as well. In the past, companies liked to show off their products and grow brand awareness through panel speaker events. Now that they cannot host live events, many of them have started hosting these presentations via zoom.
Most cities have Chamber of commerce where local business owners go for networking. I highly recommend you attend those as a job seeker and listen to what other members and guests are talking about. You will also have an opportunity to introduce yourself and talk about what you do. Hopefully, you will make a good connection there.
Stay in touch with your connections.
Once you’ve made a good connection at your networking event, make sure you stay in touch with them. Ideally, you want to send them a request to connect via LinkedIn. Next time there is a job opening at their company you are interested in; you can follow up with your new connection about it.
Think about your past colleagues, friends, or people you met at conferences or presentation events. Look through your LinkedIn network and start sending messages to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just a simple message, asking them what they are up to and how they are coping with the coronavirus madness is all it takes. Then, perhaps, you can suggest a virtual coffee via zoom.
Networking is still the “king” in building new relationships.
While networking isn’t quite the same as it used to be, people are still looking for effective ways to connect with each other. And if you have connections within a company, you will still have a better chance at getting an interview there than someone who applies online.
It may take longer to build these connections, but in the long run, it will make a difference and sooner or later, you may land that job opportunity of your dreams.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.