Getting a job from an online chat? It might seem a little out of the ordinary, but it’s possible. But just like sending your resume through an online portal or trekking across town to a job fair, a ton of great career connections can be made with a bit of screen time.
Brazen’s networking platform might be new to you, but it’s a valuable tool whether you’re looking to connect with professionals in your field or hoping to land an awesome new job. But just like you might practice your handshake or lay out your suit the night before, online networking still takes some preparation.
Here are our top tips for making the most of your Brazen experience, before, during and after the event. Follow this guide packed with online networking tips, and pat yourself on the back once you start building your network! (Click here to tweet this epic guide.)
Before the event
Update your resume
If you’re just starting your job search or aren’t sure whether you’re ready to move on from your current position, your resume could probably use a refresh. Take some time to review your accomplishments and goals, and make sure your resume is up-to-date and reflects your professional best.
Research your host or attendees
Since Brazen online events have timed conversations, there’s no time for questions like, “Can you tell me a bit about your company?” You need to have enough background information to be able to jump into conversation with a recruiter or other chat participant.
Log in and check out the details for the event: you’re likely to find introductory content from the event host, social media links, job descriptions, or even videos about the organization that’s hiring. You don’t need to develop a rap sheet, but you do want to have some general info in mind.
Log in before your event, and prioritize the booths you’ll want to visit to participate in one-on-one chats. Prepare a brief introduction for yourself, and make sure your resume is easy to find so you can upload it for the event.
Although virtual career fairs are more relaxed than in-person fairs, you still want to make a great first impression.
Do a social media double-check
Give your social media accounts a once-over before the event. It’s so easy for chat participants (or anyone!) to find your profiles and photos, so double-check to make sure you’re comfortable with any content that’s public.
Remember, privacy settings are your friend!
During the event
Arrive with a positive attitude
If you’re having a rough day or you’re feeling down, do your best to shake it off. Now.
Your bad mood can be conveyed even through text, and you don’t want to scare off potential employers just because you had a case of the grumps.
Prepare your answers
You won’t be able to guess every question a recruiter might ask, but you will want to have a few ideas in mind: what your next career steps might be; your wishlist for a new position; what you look for in a potential employer. And you’ll definitely want to prep answer questions of why you want to work for the event host or participant.
If you feel more comfortable preparing some text in advance, keep a document open alongside your browser with some key phrases or points.
Leave the emojis behind (sorry, emojis)
Don’t get overly comfortable in the chat environment — remember, this could be the conversation that gets you a job! Abbreviations, emojis, and LOLs are no-nos for online networking and job searching. Your chat partner can wait for you to type your professional, clear response, so don’t feel rushed to skip punctuation or capitalization.
After the event
Reflect on your new contacts
It’s helpful to take a few moments right after the event to review what took place. Who did you meet? What did you talk about? Is there an action item for follow-up?
While you’re jotting notes, think about your chat experience. Did you think of a change you want to make to your resume before the next event? Definitely write that down! Did you get flustered over a question that might come up again? Now’s the time to start thinking about your ideal response.
After the live event, keep the conversation going. Brazen saves you conversations and contacts from the event, so you have no excuse for dropping the ball on follow-up!
Send a thank-you note to the recruiter or employer, and add them as a LinkedIn contact if applicable.
What other tips would you offer for getting the most out of an online networking event?
Ginny Manocha is the Director of Accounts and Customer Success at Brazen. Ginny describes herself as curious learner and loves reading about new trends between business, technology, and marketing. Follow her @ginnymanocha or connect on LinkedIn.