Follow Through

As soon as possible after your meeting, jot down notes that will help you remember what you've discussed. That night, write a thank-you note.

  • If you received potential contact names during the interview, write cover letters to these professionals and include copies with your thank-you letter (or, if you get referrals during a subsequent phone conversation, send copies of the letters under separate cover as soon as you can).
  • This shows a strong sense of urgency and demonstrates how much you valued your meeting and your eagerness to follow through on your contact's advice right away.
  • Also, send copies of all your correspondence to as many appropriate of your "downstream" contacts - say, two or three meetings removed from the present - as you reasonably can. That will keep your name in front of your most recent contacts and let them know you're still enthusiastically pursuing your career goals.

After the Interview

Use an efficient filing system to keep track of your growing network.

  • You might use contact-management software, if you've already invested in it, but I've seen PIT members set up equally efficient systems with a binder, index cards or manila files.
  • Include in your records the notes you jotted down immediately after the interview as well as vital contact information (included the date of your meeting, who referred you, and the like). That will enable you to keep a permanent record of your jobhunting allies and make it easy to stay in contact with them.
  • Once you're reemployed, send everyone in your files a letter announcing the good news and expressing your gratitude for his or her help.
Even after you're well-established in your new job for years, you might still call members of your network or send them a letter (or perhaps an interesting article that may be of interest to them or copies of any publication or trade paper that quotes or mentions them) to occasionally to keep in touch. You may add to your network, or focus on several core members with whom you want to maintain the closest contact. As long as you take the time to nourish it, your network will take care of your for the rest of your career.

Random But Wonderful

The interesting thing about networking is that you never know exactly where it will lead or whom you'll meet. You simply take cues from your interviewers and flow from one networking opportunity to another. But just because you can't control the process of networking doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.

Many PIT members tell me that networking gives them the opportunity to talk with high-powered people - busy professionals at the top rungs of their industries' career ladders - whom they would otherwise never have an opportunity to meet.

One PIT member even confessed that he enjoyed networking so much he wished he could do it for a living. Networking can be an exciting and uplifting byproduct of the reemployment process for you, too, if you choose to see it that way.

┬ęCopyright 2008 Professionals In Transition Support Group, Inc.

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