Remember basic networking tips like making sure you’re offering value during the conversation, asking them about their interests and accomplishments and using good eye contact. Director Strategy and Project Management Medtronic, Dr. Michael O’Connor recommends making sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete as an important first step. How to Build Your Professional Network Digitally. Please log in as a SHRM member. Introduction. Most people I work with don’t have these miracle networks or have the slightest clue as to how to build one, including me. Develop relationship-building habits: A network exists as a series of relationships and connections between people. You should also weave relevant keywords into your profile’s summary, or “about” section. Likewise, David Burkus, author of Use that as a conversation starter. When you take stock, do something about what’s missing: Once you fill in your gaps, your goals and/or market conditions could change again, and you need to decide what you need now, inventory your existing networking, and repeat the rest of the steps outlined above. “It’s not about connecting with as many people as possible,” she says. Leslie loves to travel, eat Thai food, and watch reruns of The West Wing. When you find ways to authentically connect with people, time with them becomes a source of enjoyment, instead of a task. Even if at some point your network felt 100% complete, you will need to maintain and expand it as you, your goals, and market conditions change. “Twitter is like a great cocktail party for networking,” Hoey says. It may not sound sexy, but a year from now, you’ll be so glad you did it. Have a helpful attitude: Being an effective networker isn’t just about what you do; it’s also about … The secret to networking isn't to attend a networking event and pass out as many business cards as you can. But building a network remotely requires a particular set of skills—and, sadly, “there’s a lot of bad networking behavior taking place online,” says Kelly Hoey, author of (Think about potential mentors, your boss’ boss or other senior leaders, subject matter experts in areas where you’re weak, colleagues in other areas of the business, etc.). EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation BrandVoice. Search and download FREE white papers from industry experts. Those who. Make the conversation interesting for the person you are meeting.”, Tip #2 – Develop a monthly networking lunch schedule to broaden your network. Building relationships is your first priority when networking. Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks. At this point, you should have people in your network – even The Martian figured out how to make contact with someone. She can effortlessly work a big, crowded room and start multiple, genuine relationships. Another example of starting close is to focus by geography – your local Toastmasters, your metro’s Chamber of Commerce, your regional chapter of the relevant professional association. Of course, in order to network, you need to have people to network with—and depending on your current situation, those people may be in short supply. There are a number of social platforms other than LinkedIn that you can leverage to build your network, starting with Twitter. If you’re a marketer, you might pick direct response marketing or market research or analytics. Not so long ago, networking meant meeting people face-to-face. Networking is an ongoing activity, and the best networking is customized for you, your goals and the people in your network. Professionals with really strong networks actually make an effort to build them so don’t make the mistake of being passive and allowing your network to stagnate (or worse). if(currentUrl.indexOf("/about-shrm/pages/shrm-china.aspx") > -1) { Facebook is mainly used to stay in touch with family and friends, but it can also be a great networking tool. If you’re already a regular, strive to become a thought leader. “If you see that someone gets promoted or gets a new job on LinkedIn, that’s a great opportunity to check in,” she says. So we spoke to Hoey and other networking experts to identify tactics you can use to grow and nurture your professional connections online. “It’s about being intentional with who you add.”. Share it with the person via e-mail. Workers of all ages—from Generation Z and Millennials to ... Grow … Luckily, most HR practitioners know their way around social media. O’Connor suggests, “Attend a conference that is not in your area of expertise.” Indeed, training events and conferences in new functional areas introduce completely new networking opportunities which could provide fertile ground for valuable new connections. “A generic e-mail saying something like ‘Hey, just checking in’ can be really hard for someone to answer.”. Which Is More Important, a Social Media Profile or a Resume? var currentUrl = window.location.href.toLowerCase(); While you always want a diverse network, your goals determine where you need to focus (industries, functions, levels, even specific companies). Also, celebrate people’s career achievements. My co-founder Connie is a master of large events. While I hated to lose him—and would have moved him to a better-fitting role within my company if I’d had one—I respected his career goals and was glad to pass along a well-deserved reference. You may see that you haven’t kept in touch with people after the first few meetings, and you need to focus on reconnecting. To start a conversation, Burkus recommends this counterintuitive tactic: “I like to end e-mails with ‘I hope you’re well. That’s where we need to start, how do you build the network you need. If I had to build a professional network from scratch, here are the steps I would take: We’re talking about a professional network, not a social circle of friends. Who would have guessed that being a responsible babysitter would have led to key business connections?