A Guide to Networking Online for Students Interested in Auto Careers
In many industries, it isn’t about what you know, but who you know. This applies just as easily to the automotive industry, and with so many of today’s networking opportunities happening over the internet, aspiring automotive professionals will need to get in front of their computer to try and maximize their ability to gain new industry contacts.
While they might not be able to get you a job at a repair shop straight out of automotive school, they could introduce you to their industry connections who could help you get to where you want to be!
Networking successfully is a marathon rather than a sprint, but it’ll be all worth it once you’ve fully established yourself as an auto professional — and you’ll be thanking the contacts you made to help you get there. Here’s how you can flex your networking muscles after completing your automotive training.
Make Sure Your Website or LinkedIn Profile Highlights Everything You Do Best
If you’re trying to meet new contacts or sell yourself to potential employers, the best way to do this is via your own personal website, or your profile on LinkedIn. These online platforms provide an easy way for professionals to find new job opportunities and meet new contacts who could help open doors for them, so fine-tuning your profile or updating your personal website can go a long way.
Make sure it lists and emphasizes your professional attributes and skills, experience, and career accomplishments to date. Take as much time and care as necessary and ensure that it is well-written and error-free.
Start Trying to Find Ways to Meet New People After Your Automotive Course
It goes without saying, but the best way to open up as many doors as possible in auto careers is to have many people who can help you bust them open. However, getting in contact with those people is another story.
Start slowly by adding close friends and current work colleagues into your online network, especially if those friends are already involved in the automotive business and can help introduce you to connections in their line of work.
If you see your friends are already acquainted with certain people through which you can get ahead in your career, try and see if they can introduce you to them. Remember, it’s all about establishing relationships, and then nurturing them!
Make Sure You Know the Best Practices for Making New Connections
If you want to learn how to become a mechanic or work in any other automotive capacity after your training, you have to go about networking with others in the correct ways. For example, instead of sending them a random, hasty message out of the blue, put some thought into introducing yourself.
Mention a mutual acquaintance, share an article or video they might be interested in, or compliment them on some work they have done. You might also try asking for their advice or guidance in relation to your career. This can sometimes work surprisingly well, as they will be flattered that you have sought out their expertise.
If you’re already connected on LinkedIn, try and increase their awareness of you by engaging with their posts — though not obnoxiously, of course — and consider sending them a message suggesting mutually beneficial ways you can collaborate with each other. You never know what can result from a connection until you ask, though make sure you do it carefully!
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