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Easy Ways to Network Without Getting Stressed Out

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These days, the stakes can feel pretty high in a world where everyone seems to have a glittering resume and top-notch social circles. We understand the pressure that comes with trying to snag that coveted job and make it in the big leagues, but get this: it doesn’t always have to be stressful! Networking can be as easy as 1-2-3. Keep reading for Social Sunday’s tricks of the trade for taking small step towards curating connections and bringing out serious #LadyBrag vibes.

Give your LinkedIn profile a makeover
LinkedIn is my personal favorite networking tool. I've connected with professionals and friends alike from all over the country, all thanks to simple tips that only require a few extra clicks and swipes. Make sure you have the most updated version of your resume uploaded. I use this website to upload the file and grab a quick link (I've found it to be the easiest method). Check that your name, current position, and location are updated, too, as those are the three things that will make someone want to click on your profile. Don't forget to share your work and highlight your accomplishments, no matter how small you think they are! Make your profile as detailed as possible. Recruiters are constantly searching LinkedIn for new, fresh potential, and who knows, your upgrades could score you some serious opportunities.

Use a portfolio website tailored to your profession to display your work 
For journalists, there's Muckrack; for coders, there's Github, and for filmmakers, there's Fabrik. No matter your profession, there's bound to be a website out there to help you gather all your work into one space. Don't just let it sit and go to waste once it's created. Keep updating the portfolio with your new work! These sites usually have a community function, too, so you can connect with others and virtually meet other creatives. The other amazing side to this is linking to it in your resume is a snap! No fussing with a million different links and having your work all over the place–this will give you a sense of organization and control.

    

     
Use social media to do some serious #LadyBragging 
I know it can often be intimidating talking about yourself and your accomplishments, but girl, you deserve to brag! Tweet and retweet your article links, share your newest creation on Facebook, update your latest milestone on LinkedIn–social media is by far the best way to get discovered in 2019. Managers and recruiters are searching for top talent who know how to both create beautiful things and skillfully use social media platforms at the same time. There's a difference between simply posting your work and also using it to appeal to users, so don't be afraid to show off those mad skills.
    
Your college probably has an existing alumnae network–use it!
Your college or university probably has an active alumnae network that's chock full of resources, spread out in different cities across the country. Zone in on a city or a profession, and reach out to people. Email addresses are more often listed than phone numbers. Don't make the mistake of just asking for a job or a free internship (people usually can see right through that and it's honestly tacky). Ask the questions you want to know about a specific field: How demanding is the role? What's the workload like? How about the company culture? Networking is about fostering new relationships and letting them bloom over time, so why not set up a Skype chat and get to know each other? Or if there's an alumnae club in your city, check out events that are held. It's a sure-fire way to establish a foundation and take steps closer to a future opportunity.
    
 Think outside of the box when it comes to the application process
This applies to internships and full-time positions. How can you stand out from the crowd and not just be another name on a list? Maybe it's Tweeting a customized video at the organization, rather than a standard on-paper application. Maybe it's creating a Snapchat filter customized with company colors and aesthetics, and submitting your designs. Be constantly pushing the boundaries of "traditional" applying methods, because let's face it, going out for a modern job/internship is nothing like it used to be. Use this. Anything you can do to show an extra dose of innovation is always a plus, and people will remember you, I promise. 
       
Everything is experience, and even rejection can turn into new opportunities
Though rejection is no fun for anyone, it's a part of life. You can take that and learn from it, because everything is experience, even the awkward interviews we'd like to forget. Last spring, I applied for a paid summer internship and made it to the final round, but the interviewer ended up picking another candidate. I was crushed, but the interviewer was very helpful and informative, and I thought I'd reach out on LinkedIn so we could stay in touch. About nine months later, I received a message from him asking if I'd be interested in a potential new job in New York. Because I was proactive and made the bold choice to stay on his radar, and my efforts paid off.
    
    
Have any networking tips you'd like us to know about? Share with us in the comments!
 

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