Today professional networking is more important than ever. I remember the days when you could apply for a job, secure the interview based on your resume, do well in the interview, and get the job.
These days it is all about the impression you make even before someone actually looks at your application. Networking allows you to create awareness, position yourself as a thought leader or differentiate yourself from the competition.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both networking online and in person.
Generally online networking opportunities are free; geography or travel is not an issue; and it is easier than ever to connect and keep in touch with old colleagues and classmates.
However, sometimes nothing can replace the face to face meeting and resulting impression. Sometimes two people can share professional chemistry that is not possible to discover online.
I believe that both kinds of networking are extremely important today and I intend on giving each their due attention. Over the next 6 – 12 months I plan on the following activities:
- LinkedIn: Keep my profile optimized and up to date; continue connecting with new and old contacts and colleagues; staying top of mind by sharing relevant articles and posts.
- Twitter chats: Participate in relevant twitter chats; offer thought leadership and insight by answering questions; connect with new contacts with similar professional backgrounds.
- Present on Marketing and Branding to a group of local entrepreneurs.
- Attend Chamber of Commerce and similar networking events.
Networking now and in the future is no longer a nice to do but a must do exercise and everyone of us should have a networking strategy.