Love Susan Bernstein’s post (click link above) based on the best career advice she ever got: “Stop looking for a job. Start looking to meet people.”
Sometimes when we’re networking, we tend to forget that these “contacts” we’re pursuing are real people with real interests, real backgrounds, real challenges and real lives. They’re not just names and email addresses in an Outlook file waiting to receive a boring form letter from you addressing your job search and the desire for them to review your resume and “feel free to contact [me] with any questions.”
STOP RIGHT THERE!
Meet these folks face-to-face, talk to them on the phone, show them your personality and demonstrate your talents. See what YOU can do for THEM instead of what they can do for you. Dazzle ’em. You can refrain from the jazz hands, but they will never know how incredible you are until you build actual relationships with them.
I met so many new people during my job search, and I’m keeping in touch with almost all of them. Throughout conversations, coffees, lunches, etc., we’ve developed symbiotic friendships, and now, they know I place more value on them as people than as business cards. It’s time to get personal: You never know where these relationships will lead.