You may be following up with a member of your own network. Or, you may be following up a conversation you had with a person to whom you were referred, who, incidentally, now becomes a member of your network. Either way, follow up with a meaningful thank you that moves the action forward.
Follow up your networking meeting with a heartfelt Thank You note
Thanking your networking contact at the end of the phone or in-person meeting is essential but not enough. Follow-up with a Thank Your note, an e-mail or a mailed, written note, should:
- Express your appreciation not only for their time but for the valuable information they shared.
- Be specific. State specific items and topics he/she discussed that you found valuable, insightful, and beneficial.
- If your contact noted people in their network that they would put you in touch with, mention your intent to contact these people, i.e., referrals, your contact suggested. Or, if he/she is contacting them for you by way of introduction, reiterate that both (1) to be sure you’ve got it right and (2) as a reminder.
- Conclude by saying that you will keep them posted about your progress.
You goal is to stay visible with your network contact(s). Do that by updating your contact on your search progress every 3 weeks or so.
- Send an e-mail, a note, or make a phone call.
- You can also be helpful in follow-ups. Alert your contact to information you've come across - a meeting, article, research study, contact of yours . . . . that could be helpful to them in their work.
- Caution: To contact your networking contact every week is too often - you're in danger of being seen as a pest. To contact them after 5 or 6 weeks is too long; they may assume you have found a job.
By continuing to update your contact(s), you ensure that he or she knows you are still on the market and that he or she will make an effort to continue to assist you. If too much time elapses after your last contact, he or she will assume the obvious . . . . . you must have landed a new job and no longer need their assistance.
Remember, your ultimate purpose in your job search networking is to learn what the other person knows about potential employers, helpful people, beneficial professional associations, and other good sources of information that could lead to employment for you. Following up keeps you in the loop and leads to leads that can lead to the just the opportunity your are seeking.
For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website, including:
- Thank You Letters - Why Send Them and to Whom? Sept 5, 2013
- Template for a Thank You Letter Following an Interview, Sept 29,2013
- Networking in Small 1-to-1 Conversations: How do I do it?, Feb 17, 2013 _________________________________________________________________________
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