Even in times of social distancing, you can’t put your career on hold. And you don’t need to! Thanks to the internet, you can polish up your professional portfolio and put yourself out there right now. But before you dive in, make sure you’re prepared.
Build a LinkedIn Profile to Professionally Network Online
With more than 650 million individual users and 30 million companies, LinkedIn is an important platform if you want to present yourself as a professional. It’s also a great place to network. But to do it well, you need to build your profile. For a full list of recommendations, go to the LinkedIn site, but to get started, here are a 3 quick and easy LinkedIn profile tips:
- Make Sure to Have a Photo: Profiles with photos are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those without one. It doesn’t have to be professionally shot, but it does need to be a high-resolution image that looks like you. Your face should take up most of the frame and you should not have anything distracting in the image. No pets, no crazy hats.
- Choose Your Own Headline: A headline can be generated from the position you hold. But if you want to stand out, create your own. Let’s say you just finished a program in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design. Maybe you don’t have a job yet, but you have mad skills. Consider calling yourself what you will be: CADD Technician. Or have some fun: CADD Wizard.
- Complete Your Summary: You have 2000 characters to tell the world about you. Explain who you are and what you do. Talk in the first person: I do this and I did that. Add info about your professional qualifications, with the most important items up top. The summary displays only about 300 characters before users will need to click for more. Give them a reason to read on.
Online Networking with Social Media
While LinkedIn is one place to network--connecting to users you know and the users they know—it’s not the only place. Your friends on Facebook may be able to introduce you to people they know in your industry. Just be careful. Don’t put anything on social media you wouldn’t be proud to have your grandmother see.
Join Professional Online Networking Groups
There are professional organizations for just about every job out there. Join one—or more. But only if you have the time to participate. Their online forums provide an opportunity for you to meet other people in your profession. You can also learn a lot because members ask questions and share knowledge. For example, automotive technicians visit forums when they have repairs that are giving them trouble. And cosmetologists hop on beauty forums all the time to check out the latest trends for their clients. You can too.
Attend Live Online Networking Events
Although live events were once exclusively held somewhere—now they can be held anywhere. Whether you tune into an event and comment in a live chat or participate through video conference, you can still network in real time. Do your research to see what fits your needs and then present yourself professionally to the audience.
At Porter and Chester Institute, we can provide you with technical training, hands-on skills, and practical advice that could help you get started in your new career. Request more info now.