Building a career network is an integral part of any job search. According to LinkedIn, 70 percent of people hired in 2016 got a job at a company where they knew someone. By starting your networking efforts while you're in school, you'll have a leg up when you start the job search.
There are many ways you can network in any industry, but using social media can be one of the easiest if you do it right. Use these five tips to successfuly network in the fashion industry from your sofa.
Connect with people you already know
A good way to start building a social network is to reach out to people you already know. This is an especially good idea on LinkedIn, a professional network that can be an invaluable part of a job search. Connect with colleagues, classmates, old bosses, or professors. If you had a particularly good relationship, these people can also leave public recommendations on your profile. If you’re a student in one of our programs at NYSD, start by adding your instructors.
Share valuable content
The key to growing a following on any social media network is sharing content that other people will want to then share. On Instagram this might mean eye-catching photos, while on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter you’ll want to post articles that people can learn from (or relevant memes for a more lighthearted post). Mix up your content so it’s not constantly the same thing, but make sure what you’re sharing is always relevant and valuable. People will want to follow you and you’ll become known as a thought leader in the industry.
Build a strong personal brand
Building a personal brand shows potential employers that you know who you are and helps you stand out from the crowd. Think of your social media as an extension of your portfolio. Post your best work, develop a cohesive aesthetic and color palette for your Instagram posts, and keep your accounts up to date. In addition to completed garments, you can showcase your creative process and personality to give your account life.
Engage with others in the industry
It’s easy to fall into the trap of just screaming out into the abyss on social media, but if you do this you’re missing out on an easy way to make real, relevant connections. The first way to engage is to make sure that you are responding to comments left for you on your social media channels. The best way to engage is to find others in the industry that you respect and start leaving thoughtful comments on their content. Building relationships through social media can lead to opportunities, and even job offers, in the future.
Follow brands you want to work for
Don’t be scared to engage with brands and companies you want to work for, but make sure to not go overboard with your fangirl comments. Following these brands isn’t just about making a connection, it’s a chance to really understand their mission and look. Then, when you go to write your cover letter or in for interview, you’ll have done your research.
What are your favorite ways to network?