How to (Actually) Network: Staying in Touch with Your Network
I’ve talked a lot about networking in the past few months, from its advantages to questions to ask while networking.
One aspect of networking I’ve mentioned before is the importance of keeping in touch with your networking contacts. This is crucial. Keeping in regular contact (every one to two months) will unleash the power of your network. After all, the more people helping you and thinking about your situation, the better.
With that in mind, let me give you some ideas of how to reach out to your contacts in a natural way. This is especially important if your first- and second-level networking contacts haven’t been as engaged in your job search as you would like.
- Give them specific information about your job search. Let them know how it’s going and any progress you’ve made. You don’t have to go into full detail—a summary will suffice.
- Ask your networking contact if they know of anyone who works at one of your target companies. For example, "Do you know anyone who works for Texas Instruments, Abbott Laboratories, or ABC Company?" If your contact does not know of someone in those specific companies, ask them, "Can you think of anyone else who might be a good source of information in my job search?"
- Share something of interest that you’ve learned. Anything related to your job search or last conversation with them is fair game.
- Give updates on what you did regarding advice, information, and referral contacts from your last meeting with them.
A well-constructed email with these elements will help reignite your relationship with your contacts and may help you find your new job position. Perhaps even more importantly, you will forge new professional and personal friendships that will continue well beyond your job search.
Remember, cultivating and maintaining a network is absolutely crucial, whether you’re searching for a job or not. If this is something you find difficult, you might consider talking with a career coach. We offer free, 15-minute consultations with our career coaches, which I highly recommend taking advantage of.
Until next time.