Networking in a Virtual World

by Matthew Linville

With in-person interactions on hold for the foreseeable future, it’s important to know what online networking resources are out there. Gone (for now) are the Cava lunch meetings and conferences at Holiday Inns. Now we’re relegated to Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings that are subject to poor internet connections and fewer social cues to work with. Here are some ways to connect with the world from your home office.

Update Linkedin

            Now more than ever, Linkedin is one of your best friends for networking. Without being able to suit up with your resume in hand and travel to meetings and job fairs, treat your profile as an extension of you! Make sure to have an updated profile picture, job and education history, and anything relevant from your portfolio. This is also a good chance to reach out and re-connect with classmates and old co-workers. You never know who knows whom and where those new connections might get you. Check in on your profile regularly and keep it up to date.

Go to Virtual Meetings

            Try to attend virtual conferences and job fairs. Scour Linkedin and job sites and keep a calendar of all the opportunities. Even if nothing concrete comes of your attending, you’re still putting yourself out there, and that could lead to something farther down the road.

Be sure to show your face during any virtual meetings! Don’t be a blank screen with a voice. True, Zoom is not as personal as in-person eye contact and handshakes but putting a face to the name and voice is a good way to be more memorable. Make sure your workspace and background are tidied up too!

Be Yourself

Be yourself and don’t get down. Everyone is struggling, but don’t let the world take away your sense of self, your authenticity, and your spirit. It might not feel like it, but there will be an end to the all-virtual communication. One day we’ll be back at job fairs and lunch meetings and conferences. For now, why not take advantage of the silver linings?