PPD careers during COVID-19: We are committed to our purpose of improving health, and we hold the health and safety of our candidates and employees as a top priority. In keeping within coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines, the majority of interviews for all locations have shifted to phone and video conferencing. Learn tips for a successful virtual interview and virtual networking.
Networking is a skill that professionals are repeatedly told to develop, but how do you network when you are applying to jobs in non-local areas or working remotely? Well, the answer is at the tips of your fingers: leverage your social-professional networks. These allow you to create your own profile, search for jobs and network with other professionals. LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor are great examples of networks to consider joining.
Here are the top tips for virtual networking from PPD’s talent acquisition team.
1. Create and update your profile.
To network virtually, you must first create profiles on social-professional networks of your choice and keep your profiles up to date. Whether you are creating a new profile or maintaining the ones you have, keep these points in mind:
Your profile must be accurate and match your resume.
Your photos and writing should always be professional.
A great profile shows a well-rounded representation of you professionally. Add photos, awards, certifications, education and anything else that is relevant to your professional life.
PRO TIP: View your profile from the public eye. Does it portray you in the way you were hoping? Consider adjusting privacy settings for various fields so that you’re highlighting your best professional self.
“To be effective in virtual networking, you have to go beyond creating your profile and actively use it,” says Nick White, associate recruiter, which brings us to our second tip.
2. Develop your network.
Now that you’ve established your account(s), follow these steps to interact with other professionals on the social-professional network of your choice:
Connect with mentors, colleagues, classmates, family and friends. By making these connections, you are creating a network.
Engage on social-professional networking sites with your connections. Like and comment on their posts, and consider sharing your own posts, too.
Follow companies and organizations that you are interested in. Engage by liking or commenting on posts that the companies share.
Tara Jones, associate director in talent acquisition, says, “Engagement is key to a meaningful network. So, ask questions, seek advice, respond to your network and be sure to share content that has helped you.”
PRO TIP: Send a personal message with your friend request. Thank them for speaking at a recent seminar or for their time during an interview. Explain your role and why you would like to connect.
3. Attend virtual events and join groups.
Taking this step will allow you to meet other professionals with similar skillsets and interests. When you join online career fairs, networking events and professional groups, be mindful of these points:
Prepare for online events just as you would for one held in-person. Put your best foot forward by brainstorming questions and researching the company beforehand. This will make the time spent more meaningful and informative. Thoughtful preparation could open the door to your next career step.
As you meet professionals through events and groups, add them to your virtual network. Send a follow-up message, when appropriate, to further solidify your new network connection.
Search for professional groups that match your interests. An academic alumni group, a Women in STEM group, or a writing group are great examples of online communities to join. It can be a place where helpful information and insights may be gathered to support your professional growth.
“If you follow companies that you are interested in, you will be notified when they are hosting an upcoming event,” explains Susan Harrington, senior human resources (HR) program specialist.
She also recommends staying active on these platforms because you will see posts about events and groups that you can join.
PRO TIP: Share your experience and positive feedback. Tag speakers and thank them publicly, citing the knowledge you gained from the event.
Virtual networking doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. Following the above tips are excellent steps to build and reap the benefits offered by your online network community. The more you engage, the more familiar the platforms will become to you and the larger your network will become.
Get started today by following PPD on the social-professional network LinkedIn and be kept up to date on #LifeAtPPD, upcoming careers related events and beyond.