By Zoe Taylor
Networking is incredibly important when it comes to launching your career. You may think that studying online gives you a disadvantage when it comes to this helpful exercise, but it really doesn’t. If anything, it can make it a lot easier. In this blog post, we’ll tell you how you can use the online environment to your networking advantage.
Networking can be scary because it involves talking to new people and selling yourself. If you’re networking online, it’s less daunting because it’s easier for you to construct what you’re going to say and absorb what the other person is telling you. You can also go back through what the other person has said at any time, because it’s all saved for you. There’s no risk of forgetting their name, job title or the company they work for – that’s the magic of the internet!
Use social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to your advantage. There’s a whole world of useful contacts out there, and the majority of them use social media.
Let’s focus on LinkedIn for a minute. It’s the best social media site for networking online, because you’re able to include all of your professional work and experience in one concise page, a modern and interactive resume that potential contacts or employers can look over quickly to gain more information on you and your experience. People you know, such as teachers, people you currently work with or people you’ve worked with in the past can post recommendations, which you can display on your profile to boost your appeal to contacts and potential employers. It’s the professional Facebook, and don’t worry – it’s not considered ‘weird’ or ‘forward’ to add someone you’ve just met because that’s the whole point of online networking, and the site itself!
And then there’s Skype. If you make a contact online, and want to talk to them face-to-face, this is a great option. You’re able to stay in the comfort of your study space, and can ask the person questions to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need for the career path of your dreams. You can even record the Skype session for free using Quicktime for future reference (but make sure you have the other person’s permission first – some people may not be comfortable having the conversation recorded, and it’s their right to make that choice).
You might even have the chance to take part in a webinar to do with your course or desired career path. These are fantastic networking opportunities, because you have the chance to ask the host questions and interact with other people taking part in the webinar, which can easily lead to making useful contacts.
Check out our graphic on the best steps to take when networking online here!
For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!