By: Alana Stillitano

When you think about what formal networking looks like, it is shaking hands, smiling faces, and intellectual discussions in conference rooms. As the effects of the Coronavirus are still around us, the “typical” networking event has changed – and professionals are left wondering how to build connections in a time when we need them most.

The importance of networking has only grown stronger now that traditional methods have shifted. For those searching for jobs, having a connection within the company you are applying to can make a difference in who gets an interview. When you are looking to take the next steps in your career, you look to your network of mentors for advice and words of encouragement.

Even though traditional networking might be conducted through platforms like Zoom now, that does not mean the effectiveness is gone.

Here are some important things to remember:

  1. There are always people looking to expand their network. No matter what stage of life a professional may be in, he or she is looking to learn more about their industry from different perspectives, yours! Many people are interested in sharing their knowledge in the form of a mentor which can be a great tool as well.
  2. Tools like LinkedIn are crucial in this time. Our agency has performed LinkedIn audits for many of its clients and their executive leadership teams. Our team of experts were able to make recommendations that help them show up in more searches and provide details on their profile that help to grow not only their following, but their company’s success. If you’d like an audit, please reach out to us for more information.
  3. All it takes is courage to send the first message. When someone shares an interesting article or viewpoint on LinkedIn, take the first step and reach out to the sharer and voice your opinion. Express how the article/comment applies to your life and ask about the reason it was shared. Taking the first step can be hard but ultimately worth it in the end.

At the end of the day, most people are willing to share 15 minutes of their time to talk to you. Be brave and ask to learn about their industry, profession, and growth within their career. Even though we are making connections from home, it does not mean it counts less.

Connect with us on LinkedIn and build your virtual networking skills.