Networking is a dreaded topic, no one wants to talk about networking. We all know we need to network and that it is good to have different contacts, but it can be hard and intimidating. Networking is about finding others that can help you, both now and in the future. Always remember networking is about building relationships. So once you have a connection make sure to keep in touch. Here are some tips to hopefully make the process a little easier:
LinkedIn is a great resource that can really help make contacts. There are over 400 million members in a multitude of countries that use LinkedIn to become more successful. The site gives you access to people, news, jobs, updates, and insights that are relevant to you. Having a LinkedIn account can also help other professionals find you.
Writing an email can be difficult and take a few drafts. However, it should not be overly formal. Professionals get emails all day and many of them look the same meaning that your email might not even be read. Since people are busy, it is important to catch their attention. When you next write an email try to type like you would speak to the person you are communicating with, this can be a breath of fresh air to those that read the same emails everyday.
When applying for jobs or making an inquiry about a position, email the person in charge of the department. Stay far, far away from emailing the service account! This gets you in contact with the person you need and gives your email a better chance at actually being read. Michael Riddering, the cofounder of Trendly, video chatted with the Creative Ink team and mentioned Rapportive. Rapportive is an add on to gmail that allows you to see the recipient’s LinkedIn profile right next to your email box, this is a great resource.
Do not be afraid to follow up. If you have not received a response to your email in week follow up to make sure they saw your first email. In fact, being persistent is important. People are busy and sometimes they do not have time to respond right away or might have forgotten to respond to you. A kind-hearted follow up email can help them to remember you, get a response back, and make them realize you are serious about making a connection.
Graphics by Kate McCarthy