Connecting online can be a great way to begin informal relationships that turn into great networking opportunities.
One benefit to online networking is that it eliminates the need for face-to-face interaction, which can alleviate some of the anxiety of making new connections. However, it is very important that you begin these types of relationships in the right way. Since you can’t use your voice or body language to express yourself, you must make sure the words that you use and the way they are presented properly represent your intentions.
- There are thousands of discussion groups and community forums covering a wide variety of subjects
- You can ‘break the ice’ before meeting someone in person
- You can listen, engage, or be as engaged as you wish because no one is watching you in person
- Many recruiters are using online networks to find potential candidates (LinkedIn and other industry-specific forums)
- Networking online is just as difficult as networking in person! In fact, it may be even harder because you can’t really establish a true personal relationship online
- First impressions count even more – be very careful with your first public posting
- Your online behaviour matters more than you think – don’t try to use sarcasm when networking online because it is likely to be misinterpreted