The purpose of networking is simply to gain advice, information and contacts. Please do not reach out to advisors expecting them to give you a job, promote your candidacy, or secure an interview for you. While some people may offer to be helpful in these ways, you do not want to impose on people’s goodwill by asking for favors or expecting them to do your job-search legwork. Below are some tips for maximizing your contacts:
- Before contacting an advisor, review their profile to be sure the assistance you seek matches what they are willing to provide. Check out their LinkedIn profile and Google their name to gather additional background information.
- If you are exploring a particular career field or industry, conduct initial research on it yourself so that you can ask more well-informed and effective questions.
- Since career advisors are busy, it may take them more than a few days to respond. If you don’t receive a response within one or two weeks, send a polite reminder regarding your interest in connecting.
- Make it easy for advisors to help you by crafting a clear message about your current career plans and how you are hoping they can help. Use the 80/20 rule: share with contacts the 80% you already know (or think you know!) about your career/job-search plans and ask them to help you with the other 20%.
- If desired, ask for additional contacts. Often, people have good contacts but it may not occur to them to mention it unless you ask.
- Always be professional and courteous. Good impressions can go a long way towards making people receptive and willing to help. Don’t forget that your emails may be forwarded to other contacts who may be in a position to hire you.
- If an advisor intends to introduce you to their contacts, be sure to follow-up as planned.
- Be sure to send an email or letter thanking Advisorsfor their time and assistance.