By now, you know that networking is the only real way into your dream job.
But are you doing it right?
Last week I experienced the ultimate networking experience… let’s say hello to “Ginny.”
Ginny emailed me with the subject line: “I think I love cupcakes more than you.” (She got 5 points in my book right off the bat.) See, on my blog’s About page, I talk about my cupcake addition. So she clearly knew who I was and had read my blog, wrote a personal email to me and added a fun touch instead of trying too hard to be overly professional.
Ginny said she too was an American who had recently moved to New Zealand and was looking to get into digital marketing and social media. She knew I was busy, but would I horribly mind meeting up to tell her a bit about my job and what I do?
My answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!” Here’s why and what happened next…
Her Email was Short AND Unique
Just four or five sentences (5 points) of concise communication with a clear ask. Her email was also charming. Clever even. (Another 5 points.)
(Plus, it’s rare you meet other Americans in New Zealand, so it was really a treat for me!)
She Was Accommodating
I said I was busy and could only meet Friday afternoon. I chose a cafe right next door to my office and she didn’t complain about having to come to me (5 points). Instead, she researched the location (5 points), arrived early (5 points) and offered to buy my coffee (5 more points!).
She Blew Me Away
Seriously: she simply blew me away with her charm (25 points!). She asked questions, talked about her experience and I told her a bit about my day-to-day. She was professional without being stuffy and was clearly looking for a job but never shoved her resume in my face or demanded an interview. She was clearly and genuinely interested with my industry, career and listened to what I had to say. (Add 5 more points.)
She Respected My Time
Ginny didn’t keep me for more than an hour. THEN, she ended by giving me a little gift. She brought me a cute notebook with a cupcake on the cover. (Plus 1 million points!)
And the next day I woke up to an email from her thanking me for my time and telling me exactly how I helped! She puffed up my ego, and made me feel good about myself, without brown-nosing.
For the past two years, Ginny is the only person I’ve ever met who’s really impressed me. Because more often than not, people (especially networking newbies) network like this:
- Send cold call style emails to anyone and everyone.
- Expecting people have hours of time to devote to helping someone they’ve never met.
- Sending their resume before you even get to know them.
- When you do help, they never thank you.
What kind of networker are you?
Do you make these mistakes… or do you personalize the experience while being generous in spirit? I’ll bet you a 1,000,065 points that if you network like Ginny, you’ll be just fine.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brazen Careerist!
About the Author: Marian Schembari is a blogger, traveler and all-around social media thug. She’s based in Auckland, New Zealand, hails from Connecticut and blogs at marianlibrarian.com.
Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.