Another year has come and gone, which means another Women & Automotive: Canadian Leadership Forum is here! Having been fortunate enough to attend every event to date, I’m very excited to be hosting a panel at this year’s event.

This year’s conference, happening March 29, will focus on accountability, networking, innovation, leadership and mentorship.

I was fortunate enough to connect with one of the panelists on the  “How Networking Replaced Resumes – Making Connections that Matter” discussion I will be moderating. 

Alex Collins, the director of operations for ADESA Canada, had some great insights. 

Logan Keirstead: How has networking changed for you in the digital age?

Alex Collins: Firstly, with tools like LinkedIn, networking has become much more accessible.  Face
to-face meeting coupled with digital media has made it easier to network with more people, to stay aware of current and emerging trends and have meaningful exchanges in information.

 LK: What is one valuable tip you have for making a positive first impression? 

 AC: One valuable tip for making a positive first impression is using your body language to project confidence, making eye contact and having a firm handshake.  

 LK: Do you actively participate in any networking groups online or off-line to help you build quality connections?

 AC: I do actively participate in online networking groups, I have my profile on LinkedIn, which I use to expand my professional network. It is a way of sharing industry-relevant content, engaging with your colleagues and showcasing my abilities.

According to Alex, the tide has definitely turned. Online platforms and networking has outpaced the value of a resume. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an up to date CV though; many companies still require paperwork to validate their hires. 

I think we can all agree as to the value that LinkedIn and social media has brought to our everyday lives, networking and career growth. I would encourage anyone reading this article, or attending the ARC conferences, to network on LinkedIn with other attendees prior to the conference. 

Introduce yourself and send them a personal message about what you’re looking forward to at the conference, or how you came across their contact information. Networking that gets started online often results in quality interactions off-line. 

Alex Collins and I look forward to connecting with you online and offline at the Women & Automotive: Canadian Leadership Forum on March 29.

Logan Keirstead is the director of national sales at Accu-Trade Canada. She will moderating the “How Networking Replaced Resumes — Making Connections that Matter” panel discussion at the Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum.