We all have a little more time on our hands so why not build relationships now? Here’s my 3-step formula for #virtualnetworking:

1️⃣ Find and connect with pros on LinkedIn. If you have mutual connections, ask one of them for an intro.  If you don’t know them and have no mutual connections, send a personalized note with your invitation. And don’t be basic with your personalized note! Do your research. Find something in common and lead with that. Maybe you both attended the same university or have the same hobby/interest. Be real and authentic!

2️⃣ Dig deeper. Set up a quick phone call or schedule a virtual coffee chat. Be intentional and ask thoughtful questions. Learn about their story and tell them yours. And be transparent! Do you need help with your resume? Are you looking for a mentor? Or are you looking for an internship? Better yet, ask yourself those questions before setting up a phone call or chat. Again, be intentional.

3️⃣ Stay connected. Don’t let the relationship slip away after the initial connection. Keep them in mind and check in periodically. Like, comment, share and engage with their LinkedIn posts. Be a friend! Relationships shouldn’t be transactional, at least not the authentic ones.