Effective networking often turns into job leads. Someone will have a contact who might be able to help, and they’ll suggest you get in touch with them. But job leads don’t magically turn into job offers. In order to turn that potential into something real, you need to have a plan for following up on the lead. Consider the following tips to make the most of your job leads.
– Create a system. Disorganization can lead to the premature end of promising job leads, so figure out a way to keep track of your leads. You might want to use a spreadsheet, calendar, or just a simple list. Regardless, make sure that you record the contact information for each lead, the person who referred you to the lead, the days you’ve taken action on the lead, and the days when you need to take action in the future.
– Research before you make contact. Between the time you’re referred to a job lead and the moment you get in touch with them, learn who they are and what they do. You should also get up to scratch on recent developments in their industry and be prepared to talk about yourself and your capabilities.
– Be patient but persistent. When following up, you have a delicate line to walk between being irritating and seeming uninterested. To eliminate uncertainty, let the lead know when you’ll be following up in your initial contact and stick to that timeline. Don’t feel bad about following up, particularly if the lead has suggested that you get back in touch later.
– Thank your referrer. Always take the time to thank the person who referred you to the lead. Let them know how things went and reiterate how grateful you are for their help. Doing so will make them feel better about helping you, and they’ll be more likely to help you in the future.