How Job Seekers Can Effectively Network this Holiday Season

John Todd, GattiHR Managing Director – Boston interviewed by William Flamme, ExecuNet

Job seekers have multiple options when it comes to networking and getting noticed by hiring managers and recruiters now more than ever.

Traditional in-person networking events have gone virtual, which allows job seekers who may have been limited by geography or commuting restrictions to attend events located anywhere in the world. The virtual format also allows job seekers to sample multiple events in the same day. Most event hosts will enable chat boxes during the event or ask for questions prior or post event. Job seekers should research the topic and speakers and submit questions that showcase their curiosity and experience of the topic at hand. There are literally thousands of live and recorded podcasts to enable job seekers to become more knowledgeable.

LinkedIn remains one of the top networking tools for most professions. Following thought leaders and hiring managers in your target company list and commenting on their posts to engage with them can open a dialog. Be curious about their company and products, and depending on the level of the role you desire and depth of experience, engage with them and discuss any ideas and insights you have about them. For entry and mid-level roles, job seekers can reach out to peers and discuss how they started their careers and how they enjoy the company and culture.

The virtual format also allows job seekers to sample multiple events in the same day.

Job seekers can create a LinkedIn post about a business book, HBR article, etc. that they read. It can be as simply as a short summary or quote that you find inspiring. Tag the authors and then ask a question to your audience about how they apply certain principles discussed in the book etc. As people comment, respond to them to keep the conversation going and ask friends and colleagues to like and share your post.

Volunteering with a professional association or Meetup group to facilitate or host events is another good way to be seen as an industry expert. Participating on a panel discussion, interviewing industry experts and leaders for post and webinars, or simply volunteering to do research for the group will keep your mind active and in the game and introduce you to others in your field.

Asking your professional and personal network connections for introduction for networking conversations with their connections is another good way to meet new people. Provide your connection with an introduction script, and if needed, reassure them that you will keep the call as a networking conversation can help them feel comfortable about opening their network to you.