How to Network from Home during COVID-19

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There is very little left untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet, many of us still have goals to pursue, like planning the future steps and goals in our career.

For early career professionals, the need to grow our professional network has not been put on hold just because we can’t leave the house. (Or if you’re in a big city, that small studio apartment you pay way too much for.) In fact, for some the importance of exploring new career opportunities and taking a closer look at professional connections has increased as the stability of the marketplace and job security are being called into question. Thanks to platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email, building your professional network from home is easy to do from the comfort of your pajamas! Here are some easy ways you can improve your networking while sheltering-in-place and eating that fourth bowl of Cheerios.


Establish your networking goal.

  • Ask yourself, why is it important to network during this time? To what end? Where do you want to work? What position are you seeking? The answer to these questions helps to clarify your motivation for networking, which in turn allows you to set activity goals for your efforts. The activities you connect to your networking motivation might be as simple as increasing your number of LinkedIn connections by 20%, spending three hours a week going through old email contacts and reconnecting, or attending four virtual networking events throughout the month. Establishing activity goals will help you focus your time, assess your efforts, and get you closer to your overall networking goal.

Make the most of your existing network.

  • Before you begin your outreach, it is important to take inventory of your existing networks – through school alumni, past jobs, professional affiliations, clubs/groups, etc. Most likely, a LinkedIn page or Facebook group exists for each, and liking or joining them is a great way to get into contact with others.

Decide who you want in your network.

  • Really think about what the next step in your career is. Who is currently working at that place you want to be working at? Who has the title you want? Connecting with people in your industry and looking at the groups they belong to is a great way to deepen your understanding of your sector and who is in it. Use your social media apps to see who you know that knows those people, and ask for an introduction! It may surprise you to learn how willing people are to help out during a time of unprecedented collective empathy.


General networking – build your base!

  • Review the network inventory you did earlier and identify where the gaps are. Join groups, connect with old colleagues, and send those emails! Comment on posts and achievements; make yourself visible in your network.

Targeted outreach – let’s get to work!

  • Did you establish your networking goal? If not, do no pass go, do not collect $200. Go back to “Break Down the Basics” and start again. Activity goals like increasing your connections and friends may have already been achieved through general outreach. If you set specific goals for yourself like getting in at, then you likely have to be more targeted in your outreach approach. Do your research using social media apps, company websites, and Google searches to figure out your “in” – and then reach out!


  • Don’t be afraid to double back on your efforts. The digital world, much like the physical world, rewards respectful persistence. If you haven’t heard back from your old boss or the person you were hoping might connect you to career opportunities, send a short note letting them know you’re still interested in connecting.

Don’t forget!

  • Update your LinkedIn. This is such an easy step that is often overlooked, and what a great time to take a new LinkedIn picture! Get yourself gussied up, stand in front of a neutral background on a sunny day, and have yourself a photo shoot.
  • If you opt to use a more personal social media platform to connect with someone – like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – make sure you review your account first to see if there’s anything on there that you wouldn’t want your future boss to see…including (but not limited to) that photo of you doing a keg stand at the Zetas party in ‘08.
  • Maintain a list of connections you’d like to meet with in person once shelter-in-place restrictions have lifted and it feels safe to do so. While it’s important to adjust to this new normal, things will one day return to something that resembles the old, and it’s best to be ready when it does.


Megan DeVoe project manages retained executive searches for KEES, ensuring quality thorough each step of the search process. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP), a designation attained after rigorous academic immersion and designed to reduce the learning curve of emerging nonprofit professionals, allowing them to immediately impact their organization and communities. Megan has served social service agencies in their growth of private funding and development of impactful programming for the most recent five years, with a specialized focus on individual fundraising, grant writing, events, and volunteer program development.