5 Essentials for Online Networking Success
Your online job search process shouldn’t stop at the job boards and aggregators. Some of the best jobs may not even be posted online, but can be found through successful networking. Here’s a list of essentials to build a killer network that could lead to your next job.
Double Check All Your Online Properties
Before you start reaching out, make sure every part of your online presence is aligned with your job search. That way when you begin connecting with others, they’ll have no trouble accessing your full resume on LinkedIn, checking out your latest Web Development work, or reading what you’ve been up to on your professional blog.
Offer Help First
With all your digital ducks in a row, you’re now ready to touch base with your existing contacts and start finding new ones. Just don’t make the mistake of reaching out to your contacts with nothing to offer but a plea for their precious time, attention and energy. Open the lines of communication by offering help or support first, whether it’s sharing a fun PPC article from the Outspoken Media blog, or asking how their sites re-design is going.
Make Connections For Others Instead
This is similar to Step 2 but puts you in the matchmaker seat instead. When you connect other people that benefit from a relationship, all parties involved will be MUCH more likely to do the same for you.
Extend Your Comfort Zone
Don’t be afraid to pursue online connections that are beyond the reach of your immediate circle of contacts. While it’s not always productive to approach total strangers on LinkedIn, the 2nd and even 3rd degree connections can lead to valuable relationships if you apply steps 2 and 3 above when you reach out.
Don't Be A Stranger
Networking isn’t always fun, or interesting for that matter, but keeping up with it is essential if you want to build an online network that will practically find your dream job for you. Become a regular and active participant in your online networks so your name and info remain fresh in your contacts' minds. And above all else, be friendly and helpful. No one wants to recommend or hire a pushy Flash designer or an impatient link builder.
When your networking efforts create win-win situations for others and leave your connections happy that they know you, you’ve got a strong professional network that will do wonders for your career.