The key to networking is connecting with many professionals in various fields, and more importantly, with the professionals in your field of interest. Having a strong network will help you gain key knowledge and further develop your professional brand. It can also help in future job search and career growth.
Attend conferences, seminars, and symposiums to begin building your network. Partake in career seminars, professional development workshops, career counseling, and other learning platforms that will help you gain deeper knowledge and connect with other leaders in your field.
It is important to network online as well. LinkedIn is a professional social platform for users to share updates, connect, and brand themselves to other professionals. It is also a recruiting platform where corporate in-house recruiters and headhunters look for talent. There are currently over 590 million global users, with 150 million accounts in the United States alone.
HRCap TIP 05: Leveraging LinkedIn
Create a LinkedIn account, if you do not have one yet.
Ensure to complete the work experience and education section. Providing sufficient detail and data will increase your chances of being searched and viewed by recruiters through keywords.
Make sure your profile picture is professional.
In a world heavily dominated by social media and digital content, anyone can make a preemptive decision about you without ever meeting you. You want to make sure that what is being shared online does not hurt your image or affect your professional brand. Several companies run social media searches on their applicants, to learn more about their personalities and background for cultural fit. Most corporations now have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts that they actively use for corporate communications, marketing or recruiting. “Clean” your social network profiles by removing any and all unprofessional, explicit, or compromising posts and pictures. You want to keep your image professional online, especially your profile picture. This will be the first image of you that people will see and you do not want to give the wrong impression with a unprofessional image. According to Business Insider, below are key points in creating a profile picture that is professional.
Keep your head straight. Tilting your head may make you look less confident.
You should be the only subject. No group shots, shots with objects, or with significant other.
Your face should be in focus. The image should be clear.
Use a recent photo of yourself. You do not want to mislead others with an old picture.
Wear appropriate attire. Wear something that you would wear to work.
Use a pleasant facial expression. Smile. Nothing too serious or unpleasant.
Always use a photo. Do not use any default or “silhouette” images.