How to master digital networking: your key to career success

How to master digital networking: your key to career success
How to master digital networking: your key to career success

posted 18 Oct 23

Four in five professionals believe in networking for career advancement. Whether we think about it or not, we all network throughout our careers.

Every role we do, course we study, job interview we have, business event we attend, or person we connect with on LinkedIn presents a chance to grow our network.

What is digital networking, and can anyone do it? 

The short answer is yes, anyone can do it. Digital networking may sound daunting, but in its simplest form, it’s utilising virtual channels or mediums to create and foster professional relationships.

Traditionally, networking was face-to-face, and while in-person events are still popular, networking in the digital age means we can form connections with anyone, anywhere in the world.

There are various ways to network online, including social media, digital events, and virtual communities. We explore these below.

Attending online networking events

A quick way to get in front of new people online is to attend a virtual networking event. Usually shorter and often more convenient than in-person networking, there are a variety of different meetings out there that cater to a wide array of audiences.

Spend some time looking online and on social media, or use sites like Eventbrite and Meetup to find relevant digital networking events. You could also ask friends, family, and colleagues if they have any recommendations.

Remember, whether you’re networking virtually or face-to-face, first impressions count. Even though online events may not be as formal as some of their in-person counterparts, you still want to look professional. Generally, werecommend smart casual or business casual attire.

Another key point is to turn your camera on and make eye contact with other attendees – it builds trust and strengthens connections, and people are more likely to remember you if they can see you.

Strategic social media networking

Strategic social media networking

You can grow a digital network on any social media platform, but some will be more beneficial than others, depending on your goals or line of work.

Another way to form authentic connections on the internet is to find groups and communities you enjoy being part of. This could be Facebook Groups, professional bodies and organisations, local community groups or networking clubs. You can find them by searching online and via social media, asking for recommendations from your network or through attending online (and in-person) events.

LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the internet, and arguably the most powerful. A staggering 61 million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs weekly, with eight people hired on the platform every minute. New to social media networking? LinkedIn is a great place to start.

When it comes to LinkedIn networking, here are our top tips:    

  • Follow experts in your field to stay informed and on top of trends
  • Comment on relevant posts and put yourself in front of the author, other commenters, and the poster’s connections to increase your visibility. Users who actively comment on LinkedIn are two and a half times more likely to be contacted about career opportunities.
  • Post regularly and highlight your skills, expertise and values to stay front of mind and help employers and recruiters find you. Only 11% of job seekers create content to impress employers, so this can really help you stand out.
  • Send a connection request to people you’ve met from online and in-person events to stay up to date with what they’re doing, engage with their content, and ask for referrals and recommendations.

If you are looking for a new role, spend some time optimising your LinkedIn profile:

  • Use a clear and up-to-date photo of yourself so people can easily recognise you.
  • Include relevant keywords in your headline and about sections to maximise the chances of your profile appearing for hiring managers or recruiters looking for a candidate like you.
  • Add your CV via ‘Jobs’ on the left-hand navigation bar. Click ‘Application setting’ and upload your CV where it says ‘Share your resume data with all recruiters'. Add the #OpentoWork frame to your profile to inform companies and recruitment agencies when you are looking for work.
How to build authentic online connections 

How to build authentic online connections 

The key when you’re networking online is to create authentic online connections. Why? People trust the people they know. Statistics show 85% of roles are filled where there is a personal or professional connection.

If someone is looking to hire an employee with your experience, they’re probably more inclined to approach you if they’ve engaged with you online. Or, if one of their contacts is recruiting somebody with your skillset, they might refer you.

To form authentic online connections, remember these six things:

  • Be yourself – share your skills, experiences, and interests so people get to know you and see you as an expert in your field.
  • Take an interest in people – listen to what individuals say to make them feel valued and appreciated.
  • Ask questions – be curious and open to learning new things.
  • Be grateful – if someone has helped you, saying thank you can go a long way to establishing a great connection.
  • Help others – offer advice and tips where relevant. People will remember who helped them, and may return the favour.
  • Talk about things outside of work – get to know people more than just what they do for a living.

Connect with Search

By following Search and our recruitment consultants on social media, especially LinkedIn, you can stay up to date with the latest roles and our career advice and insights. Set notifications to be alerted when we post new job vacancies so you can apply right away. Ready to take the next step? Sign up with us today.