So you just earned your online business management degree, and now you’re wondering what to do next? One of the downfalls of online education is that we get a little bit rusty in our networking and self-marketing skills. This article will give you 5 great pieces of advice to start with!
The first place to start networking is with the people you already know. One plus to online education is that you meet people from all over. Ask your former professors for a list of professionals in your desired field who you can connect with. Even if they do not have positions available, they may have great advice and even more connections. If you are looking to remain where you are, get well acquainted with your local Chamber of Commerce to find out which businesses do best in your community and why if you want to start your own, and which businesses might need your help if that is your desired career.
Many employers now turn to sites like LinkedIn and Indeed for their hiring needs. Create solid and concisely informative sites on these platforms. Do the same on any platforms that are available specifically in your desired field. Always highlighting the qualifications that make you exceptional. This gets your name and qualifications out to many people at once, and it also makes your application process more efficient.
Another plus to online education is that you have honed your verbal communication skills. Since most people in our current era prefer to communicate via technology, make your first contacts via email and show off those skills. This gives you the chance to describe yourself and your goals in exactly the right way, and it takes the pressure off your new contact to have a response for you right away. Just make sure to include a subject line and opening and closing sentences that capture their attention so that you do not get lost in the inbox and forgotten!
When communicating with a professional contact, focus on what you can do for them, not on what they can do for you. Even if you are asking for advice or information, front load your communication with inquiries about dates, times, locations, and methods of communication work best for your contact. Make all forms of communication friendly but professional and as as brief as possible to accomplish what you need. The more of the process you take off their plates, the more time and energy they will have for you. This also shows initiative, organization, and interpersonal skills, all of which are crucial in the business management industry. Furthermore, sell your online degree as an asset in itself. Highlight the technological skills you gained as an online student that will lend themselves to your work.
Sometimes people are too busy to follow through with communication. Sometimes they purposely test you to see how strongly you pursue them. Try a few times before giving up! Send emails confirming meetings. Send emails thanking them for their time and assistance. Use this follow-up to briefly state anything more you would like them to know, and to further set you apart from others they are interviewing and finding connections for.
Graduation is relieving, exciting, and overwhelming all at once. You feel accomplished, but you are intimidated by the next steps. Networking and marketing yourself is your main focus now. Refer back to these 5 tips as often as you need throughout the process!