In our recent blogs, we’ve written about the meaning of personal branding, the process of creating a personal brand, and discussed one of the most important assets of personal branding—an elevator pitch. As a newcomer in Canada, networking events present you with a great opportunity to showcase your personal brand and put your elevator pitch into action.
Professional networking events or websites (like LinkedIn) may or may not have been popular platforms for seeking career opportunities in your home country. In Canada, however, they are the go-to channels for building meaningful connections and leading you to your career of choice.
Networking not only helps you feel connected to a community of like-minded individuals but also offers other valuable benefits such as:
- Promoting your personal brand: Simply drafting your brand statement on paper without communicating it online or in-person won’t yield the results you’re looking for. Therefore, it’s essential to venture out of your comfort zone, attend networking events, and cultivate the confidence to market yourself successfully. Using an elevator pitch that reflects your personal brand is one way to make an impact and give the other person a reason to remember you.
- Gathering word-of-mouth referrals: It is said that approximately 57% of positions are filled through a networking contact, making it important to reach out and connect with more professionals in your field.
- Finding mentors: Networking events are excellent forums to find mentors who can guide and advise you on your career path. Statistics estimate that about 68% of those planning to stay with their organization for 5 years have a mentor!
- Tapping into the ‘hidden job market’: When filling open positions, most employers choose to consider candidates that are referred (~51%) or those that they have personally met or been introduced to either online or in-person (~42%).
Networking and promoting your personal brand isn’t limited to in-person events; social networking platforms are excellent tools to leverage and optimize as well.
Refine and structure your social media profiles before adding connections
You should regularly update your profile information and use recent well-shot photos as profile pics. Regularly updated profiles receive 18 times more searches, while those with photos get 21 times more views and 36 times more messages.
Personalize your profile
On LinkedIn, ensure that you list out all your jobs with a short description of your role and achievements. Also, don’t forget to include key skills and add a summary that’s consistent with your personal brand. Statistics show that profiles with 5+ skills attract 33 times more messages and gain 17 times more views!
Be courteous in your online interactions
It’s important to have patience while your contact responds back; don’t expect immediate responses. You can always network and reach out to other people while you wait for them to respond. Remember, your communication style is also a critical element of your personal brand!
- Networking—online and offline—are excellent ways to build and showcase your personal brand, find mentors, gather referrals, and tap into the hidden job market.
- Messaging that’s consistent with your real-self and your brand will always resonate strongly with your professional network and ensure that they remember you when a suitable opportunity presents itself.