Network Virtually and Market Yourself Online

Stock photo of a laptop screen

Without a doubt it is a difficult time to be a student or recent graduate looking to make the next step in your career in 2020.   I wanted to quickly discuss a few topics in regard to writing about yourself professionally and how to network online in order to help you take that next step. 

Ask yourself, am I answering these questions with my resume and cover letter?

Building The Best Resume

When looking for an Early in Careers opportunity, I recommend a resume tailored to that specific role with a unique cover letter for the role.   Have the job advertisement open in another tab while you are working on your resume and cover letter.  Read through the job ad a couple of times and turn the skills and experience bullet points into questions.  Ask yourself, am I answering these questions with my resume and cover letter?  For example, do I address that I have at least 1 year of marketing internship experience? Is that experience clearly stated on my resume? 

Be prepared to discuss a couple of the responsibility bullet points in your cover letter.   A class project from one of your positions would be a good example of a topic to discuss as it relates to a corresponding responsibility on the job ad.  I recommend always providing a cover letter.  A lot of my hiring managers use it to see a candidate’s writing style and ability. Many of our positions work with external customers and/or authors.   

It will be good to have an idea of what direction your “Elevator Pitch” is heading.

Plan Before You Network

You don’t need to attend conferences in person to network with new faces. Virtual networking events are a good way to continue building your professional contacts during the pandemic.   Preparing for networking events is key, you will want to research who will be in attendance.  For every representative/company that you’re interested in speaking with, plan before you attend.  Look at their careers page and research the company in the news. Start introducing yourself via Linked In prior to the event starting. 

It will be good to have an idea of what direction your “Elevator Pitch” is heading.  Are you starting a conversation about a specific role?  Maybe you want to showcase a particular skill and how you think if you can relate to specific team.  You can also bring up a topic that you recently read online about the company that really inspired you to learn more.   You want to try to stand out in the crowd. Having an idea of where you would like the conversation to start is a confident way to introduce yourself with a purpose. These tips can help you build your network quickly.

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s been a tough year to be a on the job market but try to utilize this time to learn new marketable skills and continue building your network.  An action item after reading this article can be to create a couple of new cover letters geared towards specific job postings after reading through the ad.  Try to relate as much as you can to the skills and experience portions of the ad. 

Once you have applied, follow up with a message to a recruiter or hiring manager letting them know that you have applied and further expressing your interest.  Adding a specific message to a recruiter goes a long way, as it will narrow down exactly what you’re interested in, and why you are looking to connect.   Hopefully this two-step process will result in a first-round interview.   

Good luck out there!  

Peter Jeffrey
HR Recruiter at Wiley

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