Using E-Mail With Networking Contacts
- Pay as much attention to the details of your e-mail as you do to your resume
and cover letters.
- Address your contacts by "Mr.", "Mrs." or "Ms.", unless you are already on a first-name basis.
- Spell-check all your e-mail correspondence.
- Don't use informal language or slang.
- End your message with "Sincerely," followed by your name,
just as you would in printed job-related correspondence.
- You can use e-mail as a way to establish your initial contact with people,
but we do not recommend conducting your informational interviews / networking
primarily by e-mail. You will likely receive much better information (and
much more information) in person or through a phone conversation.
Your contact will also get a much better sense of who you are when you meet in person. And developing this rapport, however slight, can make it easier to ask for the names of colleagues in their career field who might be willing to speak with you. (Remember, always try to expand your list of potential contacts.)
- When using e-mail to make initial contact, send a separate message to
each person. The wording of your messages can be nearly identical, but
the more names you put in the "To" field of your message, the less
likely each person is to respond.
- Once you have sent an e-mail to a potential networking contact, it is your responsibility to follow up with a phone call to set up a time for the two of you to meet. Remember - many people want to help you with your career process, but most are busy professionals. Take the initiative and make those phone calls.
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