Today, networking appears in formats different from the traditional face-to-face meeting. Online networking is becoming a popular medium in the professional world and PLU is excited to offer its Alumni and Students this opportunity.
Helpful Hints and Tricks
- Prepare an introduction ahead of time
Prepare a short introduction for yourself before the event begins, one you can copy and paste at the beginning of your online conversations. One or two sentences about you, your experience and your goals should be sufficient. That will keep you from spending the first few minutes thinking about how to best introduce yourself, and help you put your best foot forward from the beginning.
- Plan a few key questions
Come up with several questions you can use to initiate conversation. Keep in mind that open-ended questions tend to elicit insightful responses. If you find yourself stuck for something to talk about, asking “why” often sparks interesting answers and conversations.
- Dive right in when the event begins
Don’t wait for the other person to begin the online conversation — introduce yourself right away! Each minute is an opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and the person on the other end, so be bold and take advantage of conversation right away.
- Bring your positive attitude
It is quite difficult to network with someone who will bring negative energy into their life. Even though the person on the other end of the line can’t see you smile, they will be able to sense your attitude, and you want to come across as positive and optimistic. Don’t complain about your current job or boss; instead, frame negative thoughts as something you are hoping to turn into positives.
- Avoid casual abbreviations
For text-based platforms, you’ll type to communicate — but that doesn’t mean you should lean too much on informal abbreviations like LOL and ROFL. Put the professional foot forward, just like you would do during an in-person networking event.
- Follow up after the event
After the online event, be sure to connect long-term with the people you met. One of the best places to keep that relationship alive is LinkedIn, where the other person will be able to learn more details about your background and easily get in touch down the road.