Virtual networking has become the norm to make connections. For international students, networking can be a great way to explore your career interests, learn about an industry and get ready for interviews — now more than ever.
Here are some helpful tips and resources to help you virtual network, both now and in the future.
1. Update Your Online Brand.
- Now is a great time to update your online presence. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media are a good place to start. Having a strong profile on these sites can help you network online. Additionally, a personal website or portfolio can help you stand out to recruiters and new contacts.
- Update your work and volunteer experience, follow people and groups that interest you, and stay engaged.
- Once you’ve developed a strong online presence, work on an “elevator pitch.” An elevator pitch is a short summary that describes who you are, what you do and what you hope to achieve.
2. Start Your Professional Network as a Student.
- Introduce yourself by email or social media to your professors and classmates. These people will be with you throughout your studies, and soon your fellow students will be starting their own careers.
- Connect with alumni from your school. Graduates are often happy to help students just starting out — especially those who may have been international students like you.
- Join a professional association. Many professional organizations have student member programs to help with career development and provide networking events.
- Set up short informational interviews. People working in fields you’re interested in may give you 15 minutes of their time to talk about their experience, how they got started after school, their current position, or other topics related to their work.
3. Sign Up for Virtual Events.
- Online workshops, town halls, lectures may be a great way to connect with new people, learn new skills, and get to know leaders in your field.
- Research volunteer opportunities to help you make new connections and potentially gain work experience. Check out virtual volunteer opportunities available on campuses or in your community.
4. Keep in Touch.
New contacts, former colleagues or employers, and friends can be helpful to grow your network in Canada.
- Keeping in touch can be as simple as an email asking how they’re doing. It’s a nice gesture to help you maintain relationships.
- Shortly after meeting someone, send an email or message to thank them for their time and insights. This shows you have a professional manner, making it easier to contact them in the future.
Networking and growing your connections can be important skills throughout your career. If you want to brush up on your online networking skills, try these free online tools.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.