Networking platforms feel like they’re popping up literally everywhere, which makes knowing how to network online feel a little chaotic. But there are a handful of platforms we love for different reasons - they can be a little-to-no energy way to have passive job offers in your inbox. And no, you don’t need to be on all of them. Like we said when discussing Clubhouse and Patreon, stick to the platforms that you have a good time on and maybe just casually glance at the rest. Here we go!
Tips for networking on LinkedIn
Surprised to see this one at the top of the list? Haha, neither are we. But for real, Linkedin is a great place to network online, even if you aren’t actively making connections or posting about your hot take on the job market.
- Keep your profile up-to-date
Recruiters, for one, are always actively seeking to fill roles and Linkedin is usually their top choice when it comes to searching for ideal candidates. In addition to your handy bio, update your most recent position—even if you’re unemployed! You can use your “present” status to state your job title and mention you are open to opportunities that include (and list them). Finally, please use the “open for new opportunities” feature. It basically turns your profile into a beautiful hibiscus flower that recruiter bees will be actively drawn to.
- Use keywords to attract potential employers
Make sure your profile is super searchable—yes, we’re talking about maximizing SEO! Use your profile to both tell a story about your personal brand and also tailor your profile to attract the job you want. You already have the skills, you’ll just need to mirror how recruiters and employers are searching by using their lingo.
- Keep in (casual) touch
Outside of your profile, it’s great to keep up with old coworkers by congratulating them on milestones like new roles (if you know them, DM them), commenting on their updates, and staying in touch with important references. Linkedin has a pretty chill atmosphere where you don’t have to try too hard and a little acknowledgment here and there goes a long way. People never forget the kind ones who lift them up, no matter how small the gesture.
Tips for networking on Glassdoor and Indeed
It can be really hard to know which platform can show you how to get a job online. Glassdoor and Indeed (which are technically the same organization, by the way) are among our favorite places for getting down to the point when it comes to meeting others and discussing companies.
- Keep your resume up-to-date
No, you’re not having deja vu! Same as LinkedIn, but for a slightly different reason, you’ll need to keep your resume file up-to-date. For one, it makes it that much easier to instantly apply to jobs and, second, job posters are always searching for someone with your skills. Sometimes they’ll email you, asking you if you’d like to apply. By updating your resume on these platforms, you make sure that potential employers reach out to you for roles appropriate for you now - not 5 years ago. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by following this tip.
- Follow companies you admire
Another way to casually keep in touch and get to know potential employers is by following them on these platforms. It’s great to be in-the know of what positions are open and what the culture is like, even if you’re not looking for a job right now. It’ll help you get an idea of what moves you might want to make in the future and keep you informed if and when you do interview with one of your favorite companies.
- Be critical but don’t gripe
Both of these sites have features that allow former employees to discuss the workplace culture, and, in the case of Glassdoor, workplace reviews are mandatory to use the site. And, if you didn’t land the job, you might want to give an informed take on what interviewing is like with the company. Be honest, but choose your words wisely, keeping your integrity and fellow job seekers in mind. Constructive criticism will help others make better decisions while holding companies accountable for improving or maintaining a great workplace culture.
Tips for networking on portfolio-based sites
Portfolio sites aren’t just for your portfolio, people! There’s a whole community out there of future collaborators, employers, and friends. Still trying to decide where to build your portfolio? Start here.
- Link all your socials
If you’re a creative with a portfolio on a site like Behance or Dribbble, you know this isn’t the only place where people are checking out your work. Connecting all of your socials to your portfolio site opens up more lines of communication from all over, ensuring that art directors and potential employers can find your work and your contact information in more ways than one.
- Give props to others
We like to think of these sites as living museums, constantly evolving with inspiration from artist to artist. Why not tell people how much you love their work? Even if you are an introvert, start new relationships by liking and complimenting others for their great work. Eventually, if you sense another creator has great friend or collaboration potential, take the compliment a step further and see if they’d like to connect virtually any of a myriad of reasons... like to get advice or just talk about inspiration in the industry.
- Attend events and build connections
Platforms like Behance and Dribbble often host their own events featuring creators who offer business and career advice. Attend any of the events that seem interesting to you and get involved in the chat! Come with questions for the guest speakers and follow up with them afterward to thank them for their time. You might also meet other creators at these events who turn out to be great connections, too.
Tips for networking on interest-based sites
- Know your people
Meetup and Creative Mornings are great platforms for many different kinds of people with different expertise can come together to create an open, communicative space. When creating this space, take into account the types of people you’re inviting to get involved—some are total givers, some are avid connectors, some might be in need, and some are already well established. If you’re meeting up with people or joining a small event, recognize what type of people are attending and be ready to act accordingly. If a person is, say, a well-established celebrity in your field, they might be open to providing advice without expecting an ongoing relationship with you. Meanwhile, someone who is in a state of need right now might actually want more from you and distract you from your own goals. It’s good to find a balance of people in your network and set boundaries when needed.
- Get in and stay engaged
Even if you’re not into being super social, there are ways to show you’re engaged that will encourage others, too. Because we’re largely meeting up virtually, chat features are great for signaling you’re following along, being encouraging, and thanking speakers for their time.
- Follow up
If you learned a lot and want to keep in touch, say so! Don’t be shy about sending an email to others in the group about something they said that you found important or a topic from the discussion you found interesting. Additionally, if you said you’d do something for someone or for the group, put it on your calendar, and get it done.
Tips for networking on Slack
Working from home seems to have decimated social capital for everyone’s networks. But Slack groups can be a helpful tool that can help build and maintain yours - but the amount of effort you put in totally determines what you get out of this platform.
- Make use of channels
There are channels for work projects. Who says there can’t be channels for play and socializing? Use channels to discuss common interests, offer good advice, conduct fun polls, present open roles you know of, and more. Welcome people in and let them come and go as they please, like the chat room it is. As long as you’re abiding by your company’s code of conduct, talk amongst yourselves about fun, non-work stuff!
- Celebrate once in a while
Working in isolation feels lonely for all of us. Slack, with its handy plugins and customizable emojis, can infuse any situation with a bit of celebration. Whether it’s someone’s birthday, workiversary, or there’s a milestone to celebrate, lead the charge. Celebrate people and team success, no matter how small, with songs, voice memos, silly gifs, or photos.
- Be your true self
Lastly, but probably most importantly, just be your kindhearted self. Networks aren’t built in a day—they’re built by ongoing conversations in which two people are being their authentic, respectful selves. People will remember how you treat them on and off Slack. Having a bad day? Something frustrating you? Don’t Slack about it! Walk away, clear your head, and ask to meet and discuss in a bit. Hey, that’s another great perk about working and networking from home: getting to be social on your own terms.
Tips for networking on Instagram and Twitter
Everyone’s super familiar with these two, but using them for networking in relation to business isn’t discussed enough.
- Do your research before reaching out
The great thing about Instagram and Twitter (and really, any social networking platform) is the incredible access you have in reaching out to influential people in your line of work. But you need to be respectful of peoples’ time, energy, and boundaries. In their 7 Tips for Building a Better Network, Forbes recommends (1) knowing everything you can about the company they work for and (2) know the person’s job title and responsibilities before reaching out. If and when they respond, you’ll have productive conversations that show you mean business and don’t require additional labor from the person.
- When DMing, be short & specific
Be confident in how you’ll introduce yourself, stating your name and what you do. If you need to, prep your opening line based on your succinct LinkedIn bio. Then get right to the point by acknowledging your research (see #1) and be precise about what you’re asking for. Want to more about how to send networking DMs? We've got you covered.
- Afterward, return the favor
You’ve already asked for the advice. Now you need to return it with a thank-you in some way. Maybe you send them a quick but thoughtful thank-you and offer your services in the future. If they’re a peer, Venmo them money for a coffee with that thank-you note. You don’t have to be grandiose about it, but let them know in some way how much you value their time.
Additionally, if you are looking for a job and don’t know where to start, we might be able to help! Working with a recruiter can be a way to jump this process straight to the right role. We’re here to help point talented people like you in the right direction.