You hear it over and over: to get your dream job, get out there and network. Here some suggestions from experts on networking during a period of social distancing. No matter what stage of career you are in—student, early, mid or advanced career—networking is useful. ECS provides a multitude of networking opportunities. Here’s how to make them work for you.
1. Participate in digital meetings with leaders in your field. Take advantage of Q&A sessions to introduce yourself (by full name and organization) and ask questions. Then follow up with the experts through LinkedIn and emails. The 240th ECS Meeting is a great opportunity to link up with the leading authorities in the field of electrochemistry—wherever they are in the world!
2. Open doors with Job Alerts. Sign up for job alerts through the ECS Career Center. Be the first to see a new job posting, then reach out online to anyone you know—or anyone you know who knows someone—at the organization with the job opening. It may lead you not to the job that was posted but to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: a job that may not even have been posted yet!
3. People crave connection. This is a great time to reconnect with people from your past who may be helpful. Reach out by phone or email, ask how they’re doing, and catch up. Then stay connected. The ECS Members Directory is a members-only feature which allows you to browse the complete database of ECS members. Connect with your peers and find contact information for scientists across the globe.
4. Ratchet up your digital presence. Digital media consumption has risen by 25 percent over the months of the pandemic. You want to be where the people you want to connect with are—and that’s on the Society’s social media sites: ECS Facebook, @ECSOrg on Twitter, ECS on LinkedIn, and ECS – The Electrochemical Society – YouTube. Connect by commenting on posts you think are interesting (and relevant to your career); ask follow-up questions of authors who may be helpful; and share ECS posts on your own channels. Share links to ECS articles from the ECS Digital Library on IOPscience.
5. Spring clean your digital presence. Make sure your profiles are up to date and similar across platforms. Replace that unflattering headshot with a professional-looking photograph. Delete accounts that aren’t active. Set up alerts to receive notifications when people you are interested in post content.
6. Publish online or perish? By all means, submit articles to ECS publications; you’ll get feedback from editors who are leaders in the field. Remember to also post about your own research results in your social media channels—and tag ECS! The same goes for career milestones, and honors and awards.
7. Follow up. Are there people in the many Zoom meetings work involves today who could assist with your job search? Send an email or a handwritten note that shows you are knowledgeable about their research.
8. It’s not how many people you know, but how many you connect with. Volunteer opportunities abound even in the digital sphere. Help out with online ECS Student Chapter or ECS Section activities, events, and webinars and events. People remember people who have helped them. (Posting helpful content is also a good way to build relationships).
The resources section of the ECS Career Center includes useful advice on how to network successfully and how to up your social media profile. Good luck with your job search and don’t forget the many ways the ECS community can help!