Networking is no longer limited to after-work drinks. Find out how to use technology to build professional connections and advance your IT career.
As a technology professional, your IT skills are one of your biggest jobseeking assets. While most people will be aware of the importance of networking for increasing your employment opportunities, in the digital business environment forming professional connections is as much a technological tasks as it is a personal one.
So how can you use technology to help build your network and cultivate the IT career you want?
1. Complete your profile
Think of your social network profile as your digital face. It will be the source of first impressions for people that have never met you in person. If done right, it will tell people a bit about you at a glance, and help to get you noticed. According to online professional networking service LinkedIn, ensuring that your profile is fully completed can make you up to 40 times more likely to generate opportunities through your connections.
2. Choose wisely
Online platforms make it easy to reach out to anyone and everyone you come across. But don’t fall into the trap of connecting haphazardly – make sure your digital network is comprised of quality professionals that you could genuinely benefit from and possess some relevant experience in your field. The guy you went to primary school with is unlikely to know you well enough to recommend you or provide a professional advantage. Think quality over quantity and your network will be far more useful in the long run.
3. Find a shared connection
Your online network needs to be made up of people that you know personally or share a professional connection with, otherwise they will be unlikely to help you. Perhaps you went to university with them, you have a mutual acquaintance, or you worked for the same company at different times. Either way, it is this link that will get you in the door if an opportunity ever comes up, and the stronger it is, the better your chances are of benefiting from it.
4. Take it to the real world
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of sending someone a message one time, and then never reaching out to them again. Your professional network should be constantly nurtured, not treated as a last resort. Consider setting up face-to-face meetings over coffee with a few of your connections to build on the relationship. You may be very happy you did later on.
Now that you know how to network with technology, make the most of your new-found business links and use them to help you find new digital recruitment opportunities.