Chevening Alumni reveal 3 key tips for successful networking online

Whether you’re connecting with a fellow Chevening Alum or a leader in your industry, online networking is an effective way to get ahead in your career. Here are some key tips.

Use online platforms to find the right people 

Whether it’s online or in-person, effective networking is about building meaningful relationships.

Often these relationships can lead to professional advancement, either through mentorship, career advice or even job opportunities. But the key to networking success is making sure that you’re building relationships with the right people, in the form of like-minded professionals or those who are active within your industry.

Chevening Alum Christian Ngang landed a role with Medair, a non-profit organisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after completing his Chevening year. He has since connected with other professionals online to gain advice and career support.

Online platforms, including social media sites and forums are a great way to do this, Christian advises:

Join networks of other like-minded professionals in the exclusive Chevening Alumni groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s also important to follow and actively participate in the Chevening Alumni Association in your home country.

Industry networking events and virtual conferences also provide a useful resource when finding people to build connections with. These events are typically designed to help attendees interact, so you can often find a list of attendees online in advance, making it easy to know who to reach out to.


Curate opportunities to collaborate with others 

Building meaningful relationships online can be challenging. It’s often difficult to bypass the virtual barrier and appear genuine when communicating remotely.

There are steps you can take to make this possible: video conferencing platforms like Zoom can make communication more seamless, while asking for advice is often a better way to establish a connection than enquiring about career opportunities.

Another way to build meaningful connections is by curating opportunities to collaborate with a like-minded professional on a project or task. For example, you could invite a leader within your industry to write a guest post on your blog. This can help you build relationships organically as you work through the project.

Chevening Alumna Leila Moeeni runs her own bakery business and feels this is an effective way to network online:

Creating collaboration projects can be a way to connect and get to know each other better; for instance, through mailing list swaps, guest blogging for each other, going to each other’s podcasts, organising summits, and being guest speakers.


Take an active AND passive approach to networking 

While actively reaching out to people is a key part of networking online, it’s just as important to consider how you can bring people to you.

Receiving a direct message or email from somebody asking you to collaborate on a project or participate in an event sounds like a promising step in your career, right?

Passive networking is when you increase the likelihood of people reaching out to you first by making sure your presence is visible on social media sites.

Make it a regular practice to keep up with major developments within your industry. Follow relevant pages on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, subscribe to newsletters, and read blog posts or other relevant content online.

The next step is making sure to react and engage when industry events occur. Use social media to comment and post your opinion or insights. This will help you play an active role in your industry, boost your profile, and can even increase the visibility of your own work that’s available online.

Chevening Alumna Carol-Ann Blenman works as a Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Consultant for the United Nations. She advises that a passive approach can increase the likelihood of people contacting you about upcoming professional opportunities:

More often than not, it’s about being ‘in the right place at the right time’ — either virtually or in-person.

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