What does networking mean to you? Talking to new people? Reaching out to ask for favors? Making cold calls? For some, those activities are uncomfortable and nerve-wracking. The good news? Networking has gone digital, making it much easier for everyone. Here’s how to make digital networking work for you!

Join a Variety of Online Groups and Social Networks

You’re probably already on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—and if you’re not, you should be—so branch out! Join less-used networks such as Google+, Tumblr or YouTube, to reach many different people with various interests and connections. Search for new industry-specific networks. And a great way to make new contacts is to join professional online groups. It shouldn’t take more than a Google search to find an online community of professionals in your industry. Once you’ve established yourself, you can ask an online contact how he or she got started in the industry or if they have any advice on your job search strategies.

Keep It Growing

Add “make new connections every week” to your to-do list. Set aside time once a week to explore the “people you may know” sections of your social networks. Search for people in your industry and follow them. You want to keep building your network to include old friends and colleagues as well as new ones.

Reach Out

If you can help a connection or do them a favor, volunteer to do so! Then, hopefully, if you ever need a hand, they’ll be there to reciprocate. Or simply respond to a few tweets, comment on a link someone has posted, or endorse a former colleague’s skills on LinkedIn. When your name keeps popping up, people will get to know you.

Be Active

You need to give people an opportunity to interact with you. Post links to articles, photos and videos that will attract attention. You can try posting at the same time every day so people will learn when to expect new content from you.

And two more things to remember about online networking:

  • Manners still matter. Be as polite in the digital space as you would be in the physical world. Engage with your contacts with appropriate decency and respect.
  • Be realistic. You may never get a return follow or a response from some of the people you reach out to. Don’t take it personally and just keep expanding your network in other ways.

For other great career resources, or for help finding a great job in Jackson Mississippi, contact Staffers today!

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