Maybe it was your friend from junior high that moved across the country and lost touch. Maybe it was that random guy from a summer class in college who you exchanged notes with one day. Those connections have proved helpful in the past, and you know that it’s worth the risk of putting your nervous self out there to gain favor within great companies.
Piggybacking on last week’s blog, we know how awkward it can be to reach out to those individuals whom you haven’t talked to in ages. However, we also recognize that pushing past the awkward beginnings can bring fruitful networking relationships that will advance your career in phenomenal ways. So, where do you start? If it’s going to be awkward no matter how you look at it, then how can you cut to the chase and shoot directly for the goal of building rapport with this person who is basically a stranger to you?
Webster defines rapport as having a relation or connection with another person, especially of a harmonious or sympathetic nature. Your end goal is to connect with people who are going to either help you get your foot in the door of your dream job or, at minimum, build your networking stretch so that you can learn more about possibly crossing over to a whole new industry. Connecting with people needs to feel personal and purposeful, so you need to sound confident and intentional with your approach despite having qualms about going in blind.
For some, you are seeking to build a network with a previous friend or mutual friend, as we discussed above. In other situations, it might be a complete stranger that you are approaching. The way in which you word your email or message to this individual will depend on your current level of connectedness. If you have mutual ground to discuss, then you can start by mentioning that commonality and then move into your desire to grab coffee or discuss further business together. If you have no commonality to start with, then you can just start in with discussing who you are, where you come from, and what exactly you seek to accomplish by building this contact.
For further tips on exactly how your email should be worded, check out this article from The Muse. We also encourage you to give us a call at Platinum Resumes and allow our team of career experts to guide you along a path of success in securing that solid networking future!