Using Social Media to Create an Effective Network

In our conversation about networking we’ll now be turning to the world of cyberspace. The internet is a powerful tool for job seekers and career changers because it allows users to grow a large network of like-minded professionals, and engage in new content much faster than ever before. In fact, at Career Solutions Group we work with our clients specifically on growing an online network. Having said that, getting comfortable with sending connection requests and growing your network can take some work. For many people (myself included) online networking is as nerve-wracking as in person networking, because you are often engaging with people you’ve never met face-to-face, and you don’t have the benefit of body language to tell you what they’re thinking. For those of you who, like me, find this task a difficult one, I have some tips that I’d like to share with you.

  1. Create and share content regularly. An easy step to grow your network doesn’t involve any direct interaction at all! One of the best ways to invite people to engage with you is by posting your own content. Blog posts or photos are good for user created content, and posting interesting articles (especially if they have something to do with your field of interest) will invite people to engage with your posts, hopefully sharing and commenting!
  2. Join the conversation. Regularly interacting with others in your online communities can help foster new connection. Join a conversation on Twitter. Post on a forum in one of your LinkedIn groups. Engage with others who share your passions, and then maybe ask to connect with them. You’ll have created a personal connection through your interaction, making it easier to contact that person later on.
  3. Try networking daily. This can seem a pretty daunting task, but it can lead to some significant rewards! Try networking on LinkedIn ten to fifteen minutes every day. Find new people to connect with, and when you send them an invitation be sure to include a personal note rather than sticking with the generic LinkedIn invitation. At the same time, be somewhat discerning in who you connect with. Some articles suggest only connecting with people who have 150 connections or more. Others suggest 200 or 300. In any case, consider any connection carefully before you send out that invitation.

A lot of these tips relate specifically to LinkedIn, but they can certainly apply to locations like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, and other online forums. My last recommendation if you’re still daunted is this: as Elizabeth Bennet says to Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 film version), “Perhaps you should take your aunt’s advice and practice.” The more you work at it, the easier online networking will become. So take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of tea, and settle in for a bit of networking!

Are you interested in some more job searching advice? Do you want to pursue a new career, but are uncertain how to begin? Email us at We offer free initial consultations, and have proven methods to help you jump start your career.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group