Growing up, I used to watch the sitcom, “WKRP in Cincinnati”. It had a catchy theme song that began, “Baby, if you ever wonder…wonder, whatever became of me?” At the end of the song one hears, “…baby, think of me once in a while.”
These are great words to remember in our networking. How often have we let our networking contacts grow cold? Too many times our contacts begin to wonder “Whatever became of whats-her-name?” We want our contacts to remember us, we want them to “think of me once in a while”, especially when a job lead comes open!
In a post from November, I wrote about creating a Board of Advisors, a “Circle of Trust”- to steal a catchphrase from Robert Deniro’s character in Meet the Parents. It is important to keep this group up-to-date on your efforts. A brief email, 15-20 seconds to read, is an appropriate way to provide an update. Be sure to send periodic updates and avoid contacting only when you have a request of the individual. You might think this is information overload, but if done every couple of weeks, contacts will love receiving the notices.
A young alum in Florida, let’s call him Dan, embraced this idea. In his email, Dan indicated who he had spoken to, what jobs he had applied for, interviews, etc. over the past two weeks. While his email took longer than 20 seconds to read, he found incredible results. By providing a list of folks he had spoken/networked with – Dan provided his contacts with an idea of the type of individuals he would like to be connected; the listing of jobs helped his advisers better understand the types of jobs he was pursuing; etc.
Dan indicated that each time he sent out these ‘updates’ – approximately every two weeks – he received numerous responses of encouragement and always a few new leads on jobs and contacts. By following up with old contacts, he was generating new leads each time. He sent the follow-up outreaches every 2 weeks until the job search heated up. When he was in the midst of heavy interviewing, the update emails were sent almost every other day. His best move? When Dan accepted his job offer, he made sure to send a thank you note to each ‘Board Member’, in the note he offered his assistance if to each person if the need should arise.
Take the time to reach back to contacts to update your progress. It may be the jumpstart your job search needs.