What are tips for virtual networking during a pandemic? | Coursera Community

What are tips for virtual networking during a pandemic?

  • 13 January 2021
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This week, we once again asked our learners on Twitter to vote for a question they would like to have answered by our Career Coaching team. They chose What are tips for virtual networking during a pandemic? Read our answer below!

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The virtual world during a pandemic creates a unique opportunity to network with people you might not normally interact with because you are located in different geographies. In the virtual world, you are less likely to have a conversation with a stranger by chance, for example by attending the same event. Instead, you need to be intentional about finding people to connect with and building relationships through 1:1 conversations.

Opportunities to meet people in the virtual world. Engaging with people through online discussion groups is more important than ever. Research and join groups on your major social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc). Consider joining groups based on your professional interests (such as Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Facebook group) as well as local job search support groups (such as Albert’s Job Listings and Referrals in the San Francisco Bay Area). Once you join a group, dedicate some time every day to engage in conversations in the group to grow your visibility and become a contributing member - that way people will be more likely to respond to you when you ask a question or reach out for help.

Schedule 1:1 conversations. During a pandemic when many people across the world are limited in in-person interactions it can be difficult to develop new relationships. Setting up short one-on-one conversations can help you do that. Fortunately, technology such as Facetime, Zoom, etc makes connecting with people anywhere in the world easy. To stay on track consider setting up a goal for the number of 1:1 conversations with new contacts for yourself: as many as five per week if you looking for a job, or two a month if you are just keeping your network active. For more information on how to network for job search, how to find people, reach out to them for a conversation, and what to discuss, check out out this Coursera Guide.


I find myself attending more events since the pandemic started. More conferences are now happening in virtual format and most have virtual forums and discussion boards. It allows me to network with people who are interested in similar topics right then and there as discussions are happening around those topics. 


Another way I network is by attending virtual trainings and workshops, especially the ones with small group breakouts. For example, I attended a coaching training recently where I got to know thirty participants pretty well over the course of three days. We are now connected on LinkedIn and ping each other rather frequently with questions and check-ins.