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So, you’ve spent an entire day talking with amazing people — grabbing business cards and exchanging email addresses, learning about (and then obsessing over) some stellar prospects for a future job or internship. Now comes the scary part: keeping in touch.
With so many young people looking for jobs, keeping on your toes and in with your connections is a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be! The most valuable thing I have learned as a networker both looking and hiring for jobs, is that it never, ever hurts to follow up.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Banares
Cast away your fears and try out some of these follow-up methods.
Send thank you tweets.
Thank you notes are traditionally sent after a meet up or interview; this is a marginally less formal way to say thanks for your time.
Tweet each person you took time to speak with a short, unique thank you by @-mentioning them at the start of the tweet. This way, everyone who’s following you won’t see 10 variations on a thank-you tweet at a time, and makes the message direct and personal.
Tons of business professionals I’ve spoken to say they really like getting tweets like this. It’s an easy thing for anyone to do, shows that you did a little research to look up their handle, and broadcasts your understanding of social connections. Win-win-win.
Connect on LinkedIn.
This one is the natural go-to — you meet at a networking event, you connect on LinkedIn. It’s important to add a personal message when you’re sending your connection invite, which is a step a lot of people usually miss. Hiring managers and higher-ups speak with a ton of people every day; help them remember you!
When you hit connect, change the default sentence from “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn,” to something that identifies you. “It was great speaking with you at Hustle Summit about…”
It never hurts to say how excited you would be to have an opportunity at their company, that you’d like to keep in touch about openings, and that you’re grateful for their time.
Send an actionable email.
If you have the email address of someone with whom you spoke, send a direct note to his or her inbox. I find it a joy when I get personal emails from people I’ve met at networking events (and hope that I’m not alone in that).
With this direct connection, make your email matter. Of course, be sure to include who you are and where you met. Then, ask them to join you for coffee so that you can learn more about them, their role, and the industry. Do not just send them a thank you with your resume attached, saying “Job please!” No one wants to feel like a cog in the employment machine.
Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee
Instead, embrace your curiosity about the person with whom you’re connecting, and your passion will shine through.
Stay on their radar.
This doesn’t mean email incessantly, as tempting as that is. It means not to let them forget you. If you’re connected on LinkedIn, keep your job history up-to-date and send out updates when your profile changes. Keep them abreast of your endeavors with occasional emails. Whether you’re happy in your job and simply want to catch up, or you’d like their help in your search, treat connections like you treat your friends and nurture the relationship. Stay in their periphery, and the good connections will wave you in as soon as the opportunity arises.
Do you have any proven methods for keeping in touch with connections? Share them in the comments!