You worked so hard in preparation for Industry Night and Graduation, maybe even pulled an all-nighter or two? You showed your work, the response and feedback were great, but did you follow-up with the people you met?
Many professionals come to Industry Night in search of new talent, and while they may not have a job to offer you right on the spot, they took the time to look at your work & want to hear from you. You may think they are too busy or don’t want your correspondence, but the truth is… they do.
According to the latest statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. If you work in a creative industry, that rate is even higher. If you’re not following-up with the people you meet, your chances are slim to none that you will be further recruited. You must take initiative.
So why aren’t you following up?
Maybe you were afraid of seeming to aggressive, weren’t sure what to say, or were distracted by the beginning of summer. In any case, it doesn’t matter…it’s not too late to start writing those thank you cards!
Some general tips…
- Follow-up in a timely fashion.
- Create a contact log for your records.
- Keep your follow-up brief, to the point, and professional.
- Focus your follow-up around something you discussed that night. If you can’t remember anything specific, thank them for their time & feedback.
- Continue following-up regularly, but don’t overdo it.
Types of follow-up…
Handwritten thank you….
This is everyone’s favorite 🙂
- Writing a thank you note gets you noticed, it demonstrates a show of gratitude. Professionals know that if you appreciate an opportunity, you will appreciate a potential job.
- Thank you notes also give you a chance to reiterate your interest in what the person you met with does and how you might enjoy working with him/her in the future.
- Send thank you notes to every person you met, even if he/she is currently working somewhere that you think may not be a good fit for you. People change jobs often and that contact’s next position may be exactly where you’d like to be. Include your business card so they can keep it & remember you.
- If you are nervous, consider developing a short script about what you want to say. Make the phone call from a place where you can talk calmly and not have distractions.
- If you get voicemail, leave a short message & let the contact know you’ll also follow-up via email.
- If the person answers, be prepared to quickly say thank you & offer to stay in touch.
- Keep your email short and to the point. A simple thank you with all of your contact information is all that’s needed. Be sure you have a signature on every email so your information is at hand should someone want to reach out.
- Be sure to spell-check and proofread your e-mail before sending it.
- Remember to check your email regularly.
By Social Media:
- LinkedIn is considered the “professionals choice” for connecting with potential employers.
- Consider adding links to your signature that connect directly to your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Instagram accounts. That way, if a professional is interested in knowing you outside of LinkedIN, they have the option. Some professionals reserve Facebook & other social networking platforms for friends & family only.
In any job market, the person who continues to show interest after that “initial first contact” is the one who grows his/her job opportunities. So go follow-up, network, and seek opportunities that pay you to do what you love!