Covid-19 has generated one of the largest economic crises the world has ever seen, with experts predicting over 50 percent of jobs across the world are at risk. Sadly, this has left many in search of another job and others in a vulnerable employment situation. As a result, there is an increase in competition for jobs. Here at Jarvis Cole, we have increasingly had candidates reach out to us directly through their own social media profiles regarding eCommerce recruitment services. This is a trend we believe will continue to increase. Furthermore, recruiters are using the power of social media to promote individuals to help them increase their network and therefore employment opportunities. For example, we found our Global Marketing Executive from a post shared by a recruiter from our CEO’s network on LinkedIn.
So, how can you improve your virtual networking to enhance your prospects?
Here are our top tips…
Create a list.
We all have an offline network, friends, family, colleges. This is the best place to start growing your online network from. Think about who you know. Write a list of every person who has crossed your path. These people will tend to be incredibly easy to connect with and they will welcome you with virtual open arms.
Next, consider who you’d like to include in your virtual networking strategy. Who inspires you? Are there any individuals that produce content that you can engage well with? Request to connect with these individuals. We suggest including a personalised message where appropriate introducing yourself. This is truly where the magic can start.
Finally, we suggest creating a simple spreadsheet to stay organized and ensure you have not missed out on any individuals.
Connect and introduce…
Next, request to connect with all the individuals on your list on LinkedIn and then communicate with these individuals; engage with them. A conversation may start with you introducing yourself or sharing a piece of relevant industry news. If you feel uncomfortable directly messaging the individual, like or comment on their posts. Your name will then appear in their notifications, and they may then introduce themselves to you!
Get involved with groups…
Another way to grow your network online is by joining groups. LinkedIn have thousands of groups focused on a wide array of topics. For example, many of our recruiters have joined a group called ‘eCommerce recruiters’.
However, it is not enough to simply join; get involved with the conversation within the group. This could involve sharing an interesting article you read or the sharing one you wrote. Other examples include commenting and liking other’s content. It is all about making your presence known.
Furthermore, these groups are a great way of discovering industry news and trends. Some even find it develops their perspective on a given situation within their industry.
Create content to be a desirable connection to have.
Think back to why you invited individuals to connect with your network. Was it the webinars they introduced you to? Was it the blogs they produced? Whatever the content was, there was a reason that attracted you to connect with the individual. Consider what you could do to give others this reason to want to connect with you.
A webinar is a great talking point. You can share the webinar and comment on what you learnt or even do a bitesize write up for others. Furthermore, attending a webinar will add to your knowledge base and skillset. They are also a great way to meet other individuals within your field to connect with, as many are interactive.
A further way a webinar can help to develop the relationships within your network is that you can follow up with a thank you message to the host or contact others who attended and ask how they found it. These extra steps help set you apart as a candidate and a professional contact in your field.
What about a virtual meeting?
Once you have developed some relationships within your new online network, why not ask them for a virtual coffee? You could discuss the latest trends within the ecommerce field. These coffee dates are a great way to stay in touch with people and develop deeper connections. Furthermore, such calls feel more personal, which may help others really get to know you.
Be a mentor!
Once you feel confident with your profile and the network you have developed, it would be great to mentor another individual to achieve the same success. For example, our CEO mentors a lot of our e-commers recruiters. Providing guidance to others will help you to process and consolidate everything you have learnt within the process. Additionally, it’s a great way to improve your leadership skills, which is necessary in every industry and field. Finally, this may lead to a snowball effect of your mentee introducing you to a whole new network.
The goal of online networking is to develop long-lasting relationships. These relationships need to be maintained and treated like offline friends. Maintain and develop these new connections by continuing the communication. The strength and length of the relationships are what makes networking successful. This is when individuals will consider sharing job opportunities with you and other relevant content.
Finally, online networking takes time and practice; you will not achieve a strong online network overnight!