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How to Grow an Unstoppable Network during a Pandemic


FINALLY – we are slowly beginning to emerge from months of quarantine! While some of us were lucky enough to work from home these past few months, many people were furloughed or laid off in the midst of nationwide shut-downs. Whether you’re looking to find a new job or just beginning to explore new job opportunities, we’ve partnered with PWR WMN to compile a some fun and easy ways you could expand your network and cinch your next position both offline and online. 

Give your LinkedIn a facelift!

Profile Picture:

The consensus in all of the articles and blogs was that you needed a professional picture taken of you for your profile pic. If you have the means to do so, go for it! If not, no worries! Our phones have insane cameras so just throw on your PWR WMN blazer and stand in front of a simple background. It could be anything from a crisp white to a vibrant wall of green leaves. These were some other tips we thought were super helpful:

  • Make sure your face takes up 60% of the photo
  • Try to wear something you would wear or would want to wear at work. Something that reflects who you are and isn't too distracting to take away from it! Check out Nive Girl for some staple pieces and PWR WMN for a blazer perfect for success! 
  • Take the photo straight-on
  • No selfies! Prop up your phone and use the self-timer function!
  • Avoid direct light -- it'll make you look washed out ️
  • Smileeeeeeeeeee - but for real, just look approachable...like someone just gave you great news!
Custom URL:

Literally just learned you could do this 🤯. Take advantage of this, it'll make you easier to find! It'll look something like this: linkedin.com/yourname

How do you do this? Follow these steps:

On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the window with your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL and add your touch!

Headline:

Usually your headline is "job title at so and so company". If you're trying to stop someone from scrolling, the "why" for doing so should be in the headline. This is an example we found on a blog post: "Customer-focused pro who can program every robot in your manufacturing facility. Specializing in ABB, FANUC, and Kawasaki robots."

Be Active:

Share articles and create content. You'll get more views and engagement if you share your hot-take on an article in your repost than if you simply share an article without adding anything. Sorry to tell you, but LinkedIn also has an algorithm. Opposite to Instagram, it's best to like and comment on your own post to get the engagement going! Share articles that reflect your values and show your communication abilities. If you think you have nothing to write about, you're wrong. Your experience and point of view is unique so use it!

Slide into some DMs (not in a creepy way):

Reach out to people you aspire to be like or work with. This is so crucial. It'll surprise you how willing people are to help you or just talk to you, and when a spot opens up, you'll be the one they think about. Seriously, the magic happens when we meet in person (or now, over Zoom) and get a feel for the each other. While every new professional connection may not show immediate results, you never know if or when someone in your network may call asking for help or vice versa. And besides, networking is all about relationship-building anyway. Don't go in for an "ask" right out of the gate. Focus on building genuine and mutually-beneficial relationships and the good stuff will follow.

This is not going to feel natural at first, but you’d be surprised at how this tactic can get your foot in the door at the job of your dreams if done strategically. Obviously you’re doing this to benefit your career, but you NEED to keep in mind that you don’t come across as though you want something from the other person (even though you kinda do) How, you may ask? Don’t be just another cookie-cutter message and consider the following:

  • Check out the person’s background before dropping in a message. Where have they worked in the past? Where did they go to high school? Find any similarities in background and connect with them in that way.
  • Flatter them! Congratulate them on a recent achievement or job promotion that they may have received. We’ve all become somewhat accustomed to receiving a generic message from contacts in our network on LinkedIn – so receiving a message from someone that’s taken the time to do their research and recognize an accomplishment will certainly increase your chances of a response and connection!
  • Think about some ways that you can benefit them! We all have much more to offer than we think we do, so maybe ask some close friends or family what they think you’ll have to offer to potential connections before you reach out.
  • Reach out during NORMAL business hours – not at 10pm. This may seem minor but if the recipient has notifications for LinkedIn coming through on their phone, your message will most likely be ignored and forgotten if it’s received after 5pm on a Friday.
  • For some templates on how to get the conversation started, download Nive Girl’s free e-book with simple prompts that anyone can use!

The more established you are in your career, the more messages come through your inbox on your LinkedIn. If possible, try and email a contact directly by looking onto their LinkedIn or other social media platform for an email. Again, use your judgment on this one because depending on the individual, it can sometimes be a more aggressive move – but it’s also a move that most people often overlook, so shoot your shot!

Engagement on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is meant to be used for engagement. Think of it as work Bumble/Hinge/Tinder. If people don't know you exist, how will they hire you? If you're feeling up for it, create a video. Videos get more views and engagement than text. The video can be a way for you to present the services you provide or a snippet of who you are and what you bring to the table. Videos also help people get to know you -- the way you speak, your personality, etc. Even if you don't "see" engagement, believe me people are watching! My husband has had many people tell him in person that they really enjoy his LinkedIn content, even though these aren't the people liking and commenting on his posts.

If LinkedIn isn't your thing, try your luck with Shapr!

This was a new find for us, too, but believe it or not about 2.4 million people have already signed up for Shapr. So, there’s a pretty good pool of potential networking matches that are just waiting to connect and chat! Build out your profile and specify exactly what you’re looking for (ie. New connections, freelance work, gaining funding for a new business, etc.). Every day, the app will present you with 15 potential matches that you can swipe right or left on. Each match will include the persons name, location, background, and how they prefer to meet up (ie. Coffee, video chat, etc.). It’s a much more streamlined way of networking and is a wonderful opportunity to connect with others in your city and around the country (that actually want to connect with YOU!) Give it a try and sign up for free today!

Build your Experience with Upwork

If the job hunt is taking longer than expected, or you’re finding that you have some extra time now that there are still restrictions on social activities, make some extra cash by offering your expertise on Upwork. Upwork is an online freelancing platform that connects businesses with freelancers, professionals, and agencies. Although most businesses do use the platform to look for short term or temporary help, there’s always a possibility that as companies continue to grow, they can offer a full-time role to professionals on Upwork.

Either way, it won’t hurt to build up your portfolio while you have some extra time!

Join a few Facebook groups in your city!

Another alternative to LinkedIn is Facebook! There are so many opportunities to connect online (and potentially meet in person if that’s something you’re willing to do). Check out what sorts of Facebook groups are available in your city or town to link up with some like-minded ladies and share your resume!

Before joining, check the group guidelines or DM the admin of the group to make sure that posting a message with your resume on the wall is appropriate. If not, you might have your posting deleted and be removed from the group entirely.

When posting something to the group, make sure that the message is engaging! Ask a question, look for recommendations from others, or seek advice from other individuals in the group. Everyone loves to feel helpful, so if you can offer an opportunity for someone to lend a hand, more people will jump at the chance.

Let us know what tips worked for you and we will share with everyone! 


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