Niv Lobo Gajiwala
How to Network Virtually
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
If you’re actively job searching right now or just looking to build your professional network, you are not alone. Looking for a job and building a network in a new community is hard and it feels particularly daunting right now. The state of the economy has changed and so has the way we work, engage socially, and navigate job interviews that are now fully virtual.
But there is good news, as things have shifted and it’s become an employee market in tech, with employees having power, choice and the opportunity to engage with companies whose mission aligns with them.
Our advice: take your time, do your research and get creative!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Tap into those networks!
You might think - what networks? I just moved here!... I hear you. Research the Canadian tech ecosystem, find companies whose mission you really connect with that are going through incredible growth and make a target list.
Check out the roles they’re hiring for and - here’s the secret - find the recruiter/hiring manager on Linkedin. Don’t be afraid to send them an invitation or an email asking how they’re doing, explain your situation, and that you have an eye on XYZ role. Even if it doesn’t end up being the right fit, you’re in the process of building out your network. Most hiring managers tend to look for some kind of familiarity when going through stacks of resumes and will recognize you or even reach out to you when the time is right.
2. Start building your brand
Post your thoughts and experiences on Linkedin, share your growth journey and what you’re looking for next. You’d be surprised at the traction and connections you can build by putting yourself out there. Every experience is unique and every experience is valid. The newcomer experience and the way you’re navigating it is always eye opening for people who haven’t gone through it, it helps get you in front of a hiring manager, more so if the hiring manager has shared these challenges as well.
If your expertise lies in data science or B2C SaaS, post about your learnings, your thoughts on the future of your field, interesting articles you’ve come across or even companies that you think are doing really cool things in the space. The beauty of Linkedin is that it empowers you to showcase your personality, thoughts and interests. But remember, it’s not a personal social media site - save the pictures and non work related feelings for the gram!
3. Keep an eye out for virtual events
Companies often host hiring events, panel discussions, and even events on how they’re approaching diversity and inclusion. It gives you good insight into what life at the company would be like, their values and what’s next on the horizon.
Accelerator centres, VC’s, community hubs like Mars, Communitech, TechTO etc. host events to give you in depth insight into the kinds of tech companies on their roster.