By Sarah Coker
Featured Photo: Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Looking for career development advice in the age of a pandemic? Look no further.
Networking and job searching can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. However, with the majority of things now online, reassessing your strategy is important.
1. Perfect Your Zoom Skills
Even when COVID-19 ends, online meetings are likely going to be the future. At this point, after many people have learned how to utilize Zoom, employers are coming to the table with the expectation that your calls are going to be professional. Minimizing distractions, using a background that’s aesthetically pleasing and investing in a quality webcam are all steps you can take to uplevel how you appear to potential clients or employers.
Photo: Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash
2. Revamp your Social Media Presence
Digital media skills have become increasingly important for modern professionals, something only highlighted by the pandemic. Ensuring your online presence reflects the brand you’re trying to build is a part of that. In addition to having a well-rounded LinkedIn profile, double-check that all of your social media accounts are politically neutral and engaging. It’s also worth considering creating a personal website, especially if you have your own business or keep a portfolio for anything creative.
3. Check out your Alumni Resources
One of the biggest advantages to a college degree is not always the degree itself, but the access and resources it provides for alumni. Consider investing in a lifetime membership to your alumni association and joining any alumni social media groups. They can be excellent places to network with people you share things in common with. Many schools also extend career services to recent graduates for several years in order to assist with building connections. These can include virtual mixers, seminars with prominent speakers, resume workshops and other valuable tools.
Photo: Vasily Koloda on Unsplash
4. Learn Something New
With the majority of colleges still operating remotely, online learning has certainly presented unique challenges. However, it has also created unique opportunities. For years people have been using the excuse they couldn’t possibly go back to school while working due to a lack of time. Continuing education often meant adding extra hours in your commute to get to the classroom and limiting your schedule to what was offered at night or during weekends. Due to the pandemic, many schools have expanded their online and asynchronous options, making it possible to add a class or two. Adding an additional skill to your resume could make a big difference in future career options, as well as demonstrating a drive to be adaptable and a lifelong learner.
5. Get Creative
LinkedIn isn’t the only platform people are using to network anymore. Apps like Bumble have begun implementing functions beyond just dating, including Bumble Bizz, which has been described as “LinkedIn meets Tinder.” It allows people to create a profile to swipe right on potential business connections. Other similar apps include Shapr, City Hour and Bizzaboo.
The point is, there are new tools being created for professionals looking to advance their careers every day, but the key is to learn what works for you and your niche. Maybe old school fliers and business cards work for you, or maybe you’re a pro at using technology (or better yet, a combination of both)!
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