Building up your professional network is vital throughout every step in your career path, and although in-person events are not happening right now, there are still plenty of opportunities through social media, through friends, coworkers, or previous employers to network.
But what do you do after you’ve connected with someone to help keep building on your relationship?
Similar to after an interview, you want to send a follow-up email or message after networking with someone. This can help you stand out as being driven, and hopefully create the opportunity to build a long relationship with someone, which can turn into a mentorship, and continue to bring new opportunities throughout your career.
If you connected with the person through LinkedIn or over the phone, you can send them a follow-up message asking for their email to keep communication open, and easier.
Just like with a follow-up email after an interview, send your networking follow-up email within 24 to 48 hours of connecting with someone.
If your conversation was about a job opportunity
Write an attention-grabbing subject line, something that will immediately remind the person of your conversation so that they open it.
Make sure to thank them for taking the time to talk with you. If you learned more about their company or the potential job opportunity, you can also thank them for the information or advice they provided during your conversation.
Include a sentence or two about the value you can add to the company or the position, and that you are excited about the opportunity. Make sure to attach any documents you may have mentioned, such as a resume, however, if the person did not ask for your resume during the conversation, it may be best to offer to send your resume in your follow-up email before sending it.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, I enjoyed learning more about [company name, job position, or something you discussed].
I’m excited to learn more about the opportunity and being able to help [add the value you can bring to the organization]. I’ve attached my resume as discussed and am happy to discuss this further with you. Please let me know if you have time for a phone or video call.
If you have not had a full conversation yet
Maybe a friend or coworker gave you their email or introduced both of you through an email and you would like to set up a video or phone call with them.
Make sure that your friend or coworker asks the person that it is okay to give out their information, or connect both of you before contacting them.
Reply to the email by thanking them for the opportunity to connect and ask them if they would have time for a video call or phone call. Send them at least two dates and times when you are available to meet.
Thank you for connecting! I would love the opportunity to connect with you about [company name, job opportunity, getting into the industry] and learn more about your experience with [topic].
Would you have time for a phone or video call [insert day/time]?
Before hitting the send button
Read through your email one more time, either out loud or in your head, and make sure it flows well and sounds professional. Check for any grammar errors or misspellings so you leave a strong, positive impression.