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Building a Professional Network Online

As job search counselors and career management experts often point out, in the modern marketplace, a professional network offers the only truly reliable form of job security. Companies rise and fall, divisions close down, and restructuring can happen in an instant. But employees with a strong network will always land on their feet, and the most resilient workers are those who can find their next job by simply picking up the phone.

So what steps can you take to weave a secure social network for yourself? How can you stabilize your position and use your connections to gain the freedom and flexibility to take your career in any direction you choose? Specifically, what can you do to cultivate your personal connections and build a professional reputation for yourself online? These moves can help.

1. Become a Thought Leader

If you have a Facebook account, a Linkedin profile, and a Twitter feed, use them to stay in touch…but don’t stop there. Use these venues to repost insightful and well written articles that shed light on complex industry issues. And when you repost these articles, add your insights and commentary. Present yourself as a trusted curator and a reliable, intelligent, and self-guided industry expert.

2. Reach Out to Specific Individuals

Your network can serve as a static resource most of the time. But you can also generate activity by periodically reaching out to coworkers and contacts to ask for advice and share news that may be of interest to a specific person. “I saw this and thought of you” takes only a minute to type, but these words can have a powerful impact on your reputation and influence.

3. Publish

Maintain your own intelligent, informed, and well-written professional blog if you have the time. But you can also make a name for yourself by writing guest posts for blogs you respect and submitting articles to print and online venues relevant to your industry. Sharing your words and opinions with a wider audience might be easier than you think—Start by simply contacting editors and site administrators and asking how you can contribute.

4. Comment Wisely

In the meantime, become a frequent visitor and regular presence on highly trafficked sites and blogs in your field. Leave intelligent comments and provide encouragement, pingbacks, shares and reposts whenever you come upon something that impresses you.

For more on how to expand your network and build a professional reputation for yourself online, contact the staffing and career management pros at Cordia.