It’s no secret: we are living in a virtual world.
Firm handshakes, passing out business cards, and a room full of industry professionals sharing hors d’oeuvres have inevitably become things of the past. The upside? Physical location no longer limits us. We can virtually network. Connecting from the comfort of your own couch allows for the new potential to make lasting relationships with other professionals in your field.
Making Connections: LinkedIn & Beyond
LinkedIn has quickly become everyone’s new best friend. And for very good reason. The virtual channels of connection are heightened in this day and age. This makes every click, tap, and send on a keyboard more important than ever.
Virtually networking can also happen in less obvious ways and places. For example, Meetup, Reddit, and even your favorite social platforms. Although we aren’t suggesting reaching out to a potential employer on their personal Instagram, making connections in a less overt or untraditional manner can often lead to positive results.
The Follow Through
Hitting the “connect” button on LinkedIn may seem like enough of an introduction to virtually network, but to potential employers, collaborators, and connections, it’s not. We suggest writing a personalized message to every connection you make. Tell them why you’re interested in linking up. Also, who it is you are, and how the relationship could be of mutual benefit. Think about it this way: connecting is like sharing a brief handshake at an event, following up with a personal message is like introducing yourself, your brand, and your goals. They work in tandem to allow you to put your best foot forward.
Although LinkedIn is great, we want to remind you to put yourself out there in other virtual spaces. Attending virtual events such as conferences, info sessions, career fairs, and project demonstrations allows you to show interest and show up for the people and things you care about.
Revamp Your Resume
As you begin the job search for new positions, it is very important to have an updated and tailored resume specific to the role that you are applying for within the industry. To give yourself a competitive edge over the hundreds of other candidates, it is highly recommended to have a professional resume writer review and edit your resume. This is especially important if you’re seeking job titles or industries you haven’t worked in before.
The world is moving in a rapidly digital direction, with industry experts predicting an upcoming historic boom in tech jobs. Learning digital skills is no longer an option, but rather, a necessity. To stay relevant in the coming job markets, digital skills will be essential to your hiring potential. The truth is that access to digital skills accelerators and remote education has never been easier.
Acquiring technology skills is one of the best ways to ensure you are positioned for success in the “new normal”. The pandemic is accelerating digital transformations within businesses as they aim to become more resilient to future disruptions and outbreaks. Microsoft executives predict that by the year 2025, there will be 149M new digital tech jobs. Technologies such as big data, advanced robotics, software development, autonomous transport, machine learning (ML), biotechnology, virtual reality, genomics, and artificial intelligence (AI) will position businesses to become more resilient to pandemics in the future. Any candidate who highlights these critical skills on their resume and cover letter will be in an advantageous position. So, whether you are currently working at an office job or in a warehouse factory, you will need to be comfortable with technology tools and be able to utilize them effectively.
Coding and Digital Skills
Companies’ are in the midst of digital transformations across the world. They are disrupting brick and mortar businesses and reimagining workplace office spaces and operations. Therefore, candidates with competitive digital skills including digital marketing, web advertisement and development, and coding, will become even more in demand than ever before. Companies like Salesforce, Shopify, Amazon, Twitter, and Slack who can pivot and shift their businesses to long-term remote digital work are companies that candidates should submit their resume and cover letter. Luckily, the majority of businesses are digitally based in one way or another. So, the opportunities to refine your digital skills are limitless! Trying an online course in one of these skills is a great way to boost your hiring potential and show future employers that you are committed to and capable of adapting.
Become a Lifelong Learner
The best way to continue to progress in your career is to commit to a lifetime of continuously improving and learning. Improving your competitive skills is easier than you think! There are endless, easy to navigate, and affordable resources available online that will greatly improve your skillset. Not everyone has the free time and financial resources to dedicate years of studying for a degree. However, the courses, guides, and tutorials in these subjects are right at your fingertips. You can learn from your home, at your own pace, and on your terms.
Now that you’ve worked so diligently on acquiring these new skills, you’ll want to integrate them into your cover letter and your resume. I always recommend working with a professional resume writer to review your resume. This ensures that your application is viewed by the actual decision-makers who schedule job interviews.
We recognize virtually networking is a new experience for all of us. We are here to help you adapt and change with the world around us. And to help you put your best (virtual) foot forward!
Founded in 2017 by Benny Boas (CEO) and Alex Horner (COO), Burlington Code Academy was born out of a shared vision: to create an accessible technology school that always gives students a return on their investment. The school has since earned a reputation as a leading center for career transformation and technology education. BCA’s award-winning education programs emphasize teamwork, career-readiness, and the importance of collaborative learning.