Networking in a Pandemic

November 16, 2020 - by Gagneet Kaur

When the pandemic spread, I was worried that it might impact my chances of meeting and networking with industry professionals in person. I feared that it might impact my chances of being hire by the organization of my choice.  

Sure, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough time for all, and networking has emerged as one of the biggest challenges for new grads, who are preparing to enter the professional world. But this has also brought to light the innovative avenues for job search and networking.  

According to experts, more that 70% of jobs are secured through networking. Fortunately, with the help of technology, people can still build meaningful and useful relationships, even if they are stuck inside their homes, and therefor improve their chances of giving their career a strong head start.  

Here are 6 tips to widen your professional network from the comfort of your home.  

  1. Be Visible: Create and constantly update your online profiles. Your online profile presence represents who you are and the brand you represent. 

  1. Make it a Habit: Networking should be an ongoing activity on LinkedIn. Be helpful. Foster relationships. Introduce connections to one another. Help your connections grow, and most importantly, never help with the intent of receiving something in return. If one of your friends needs to be introduced to a professional that you happen to be connected with, introduce them to each other through email, via LinkedIn or even a phone call. 

  1. Ask for a Virtual Informational Interview: Don’t ask professional contacts for a job. Instead, ask for a brief phone, email, or online conversation to seek their job search advice. Alumni, family friends, and industry leaders are often willing to do so.  

  1. Do Your Homework: While compiling the list of connections, do your homework in jotting down relevant questions about your contacts’ interest and achievements. It is vital to add value during the discussion, as this will keep the conversation or focus going. What you bring to the table is how you will be valued.  

  1. Show Gratitude: Do not forget to send an appreciation email, text, or call during the holidays or events that will help you connect personally. This gesture is to show appreciation for their contribution to your success. 

  1. Be Patient and Consistent: All good things take time and consistency pays off. The biggest mistake new jobseekers make is to give up when they don’t get results quickly. Keep widening your skills, profile, and professional network, and you will eventually see results.  

Need help with your networking strategy or have questions related to career planning or job search? Drop-in to our online virtual advising via Blackboard where you will be able to meet with me or another Career Peer Advisor on Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. You can also book an appointment with a Career Advisor via mySuccess or visit the CDEL website for more information.