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With the continuous increase in social distancing, we are adapting to a world where in-person and face-to-face contact has been drastically limited.  While this may cause you to adjust how you would traditionally network, there are still plenty of ways to continue to network and build relationships.

 At its core, networking still remains about forming connections.  When creating these connections you want to remember that networking isn’t a one-sided relationship.  Start by thinking about how you can help others. If you approach networking, whether it be in person or virtually, only thinking of your own agenda you can come off as self serving or pushy.  Instead, look for ways to build relationships that can benefit you and the person you’re connecting with. As a student, you may wonder what you have to offer to your contacts--the answer is plenty.  Be open minded, willing to learn as well as offer feedback and support to others in your network. 

Now is the perfect time to strengthen your networking skills among contacts you already have. It’s a perfect time to touch base with people you care about--whether those are friends, family members, current colleagues, former bosses, professors, etc.  Reach out via email, phone or LinkedIn to ask how they are doing and adjusting to their current situation--and if there’s a way you can help--offer to! Maybe you’ve found a great tutorial on using Zoom, or tips for increasing productivity at home, or even a funny video on Tik Tok---share it with a quick note to let others know you’re here for them! Even a kind email or supportive comment on a LinkedIn post can go a long way.

Once you feel more confident in your virtual networking skills, you can begin to look for ways to ‘meet’ new people.  Think about who you want to meet--this can be people that work in your targeted career field or targeted companies. Once you’ve narrowed down your list (and polished your LinkedIn profile) start by scanning your home feed on LinkedIn.  This is a great place to see what’s being shared or commented on by your colleagues.  You can then start to comment on articles and posts that interest you based on your targeted list you created.  When you find an article that really relates to you, share that to your own page with a blurb about why it’s important to you.  You can also start searching for new companies to follow and people that you may know but haven’t connected with. We recommend including a quick message with these connections.

Set aside time for virtual networking (30 minutes a day is a good start) and your network will become stronger as a result.  Have questions--UAH Career Services is here to help. You can schedule an appointment in Charger Path and we’ll be available to help via email, zoom or phone.