I read a good post yesterday called “The Shocking Reason Social Networking Isn’t Getting You a Job”. The post brings up a great point: many people out there networking will disappoint you at best and burn you, at worst. There are many ways to protect yourself from rude people, both on and off the internet. But my question to you today is: Are you one of them?
Lindsey Donner points out in her reply to the above post that a lot of people in her generation (Y) aren’t that good at follow-up. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve given someone an hour of my time — friend of a friend — and never heard from them again. Nope, not even a simple thank you email. It just makes you shake your head in disbelief.
Following up is a basic component of courtesy, and I believe we are having a courtesy crisis in this country. It is certainly not just Gen Y, by the way, because the truth is, you have to blame the parents! How can anyone expect to get a job without making sure to thank every single person in the long line of those who helped–in every small way. And sadly, if you are good at the thank you part, you will actually stand out.
So besides taking the opportunity to rant, I do want to share a specific piece of advice. Be really good at follow-up in everything, but with networking it’s especially critical. If someone spends time with you as a favor, find a way to both thank them and reciprocate when you can. If someone goes the extra mile in helping you find a new job, do something special for them. If you want my advice on your situation, let me know. I’m happy to help!