I came across this article while checking out Fast Company’s website the other day, and I wanted to share it with you all because I know at one time or another we have all struggled with networking emails. It’s like we don’t want to be too forward and just flat-out say “Hey can you give me a job,” but we also want to demonstrate that we’re the right person for the opportunity.
For me personally, I have always struggled with keeping the conversation going after I have asked my burning questions.
What are some challenges that you have experienced with sending networking emails?
Check out the article below, and let me know your thoughts.
I’m all about being up front when you network. It’s helpful to be honest about why you’re reaching out (for example, you’re going through a job search or moving to a new city). It can combat nerves and help the process feel more genuine. In other words, it instantly solves two core issues many people stress about when told to network.
That said, as with anything else, you know there’s a difference between being straightforward and being overly blunt. For example, you know to write, “I was thinking of approaching the project from a different angle” over “I hate all of your ideas.”
Aspiring to find this balance, many people begin networking emails with “Remember me?” or even, “You probably don’t remember me . . . ” After all, why not begin with an honest admission so the other person knows you aren’t being fake? Well, unfortunately, this approach often backfires. While you’re coming from a sincere place, it’s pretty audacious to ask for something from someone whom you’re blatantly admitting you barely know.
But the fix is simpler than you’d think. Just skip over the line that roughly translates to: “We’re practically strangers.” Here’s how.
1. FOR SOMEONE YOU MET ONCE: “WE MET AT [EVENT]”
You had a brief conversation, exchanged business cards, connected on LinkedIn—and haven’t been in touch since. Maybe you even had to think for a minute about exactly how you know each other, so starting your email with “Remember me?” seems totally reasonable.
But imagine if you saw that person face-to-face. Would you start by sharing that it took you a few minutes to place them, or wait until you remembered and then reintroduce yourself with how you’re connected? The second option helps conversation flow more naturally (and an ask won’t feel as out of place). It sounds like this:
We met at last year’s Developers’ Conference in Tampa, where we bonded over the fact that we’d both recently given up coffee. (Update: I only lasted three weeks.) I’m reaching out because I remember you work at [Company Name] and they have an opening I’m interested in. Could I email you a few questions about what it’s like working there?
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