pro tip

always follow up

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I will let you in on a little secret. Networking can virtually occur in any settings. But networking might not be the most important part of making contacts, my friends, it is essential to always follow up. An initial contact is great, but you aren’t really networking if the relationship does not continue. To achieve success in your networking efforts, it is vital to follow up.

You want to cultivate those relationships and the solution isn’t more networking, but rather spending more time networking with a follow up system in place. Honestly, your business or career may even depend on it. Let me fill you in on a few best practices.

Take notes

More than likely, you exchanged business cards, if not get in the habit of doing that. At the very least get their business card. Immediately after the event, jot down a few quick notes about the people you met. I write these directly on their business card. It’s important to do this shortly after the event so the conversation is still fresh in your mind.

Send an email 24 hours after meeting

When sending your first email, you want to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, reliable, and consistent. Just like you put the effort in to make a good impression at the event, continue to do that in your email. Of course, make sure there are no typos, spelling errors or run-on sentences. Sharing useful data, offering further help and focusing on the receipt of the email are all things to keep in mind when writing this exchange.

Connect on Social Media

The next step is to connect with the person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or follow their blog. Once I am connected with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, I am less likely to lose touch with them and they will be reminded of me every time I post something. Plus, both are excellent tools for remaining “top of mind” with people in your extended network.

Follow-Up & Add Value

The hardest part about following up with people who you still don’t know that well is finding excuse for contacting that person without sounding like a car salesman. When you follow up with your contact, add value to your outreach.  A few ways to do this could consist of sending an information article, making an introduction or inviting them to an event. Again, it’s hard to make these follow up connections but know that everyone is in the same boat. Here’s another useful article about adding value from the NYTimes.

Keep these things in mind next time you are next working and following up with those connections!

an open letter

[insert your name here]

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Dear You,

As our relationship has progressed you have noticed one motif about my life: go big, or go home. You’re right, I don’t take things lightly and I don’t do them small. If I am going to do something, I commit. With all that being said, my birthday is never a different story. Every few years, the Super Bowl will try to overshadow my special day but I never allow it to do so.

This year, my birthday was wonderful because of you. Celebrating this 24th year is something I will ever forget. Being surrounded by loved ones, receiving phone calls and even the simple smiles truly made the day something special.

Over the years we’ve shared many stories, laughter, drinks and celebrations, but this one was different. This particular birthday celebration encompassed many wonderful aspects of my life. The celebrations this year allowed me to join in all of the tom foolery and showering of love that a birthday should have.

For you, I am grateful. Without you, my birthday would not have been the same. Thank you for the memories we made this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing what my 24th year has in store. I am lucky to have you along for the journey. Once again, thank you. I am so touched and thankful to be blessed by such awesome family and friends!

All My Love,

Kendal Ann

 

 

cover letters

Cover letters are an integral part of the job application. Cover letters can both be annoying and rewarding. As any job seeker knows, a cover letter is a must when applying to a job. Below, Matt shares a guest post about cover letters and how they are a vital part when applying for a job. Matt will share with you a few tips and tricks he’s learned to get his application noticed.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

an application’s basic necessity

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

As most know, I’ve been on the job hunt for five months now. I’ve put out hundreds of applications and cover letters to various abbreviated non-profits, sports teams, newspapers and electronic stores. Minus the food industry, you name it and there’s a great shot I’ve tried to apply or applied for a position with them.

One thing that I’ve noticed is an interesting factor to the job hunt is the elusive cover letter. Cover letters have become such a vital part with applying for jobs nowadays, that some employers don’t even need to list it as a part of the application process anymore – it’s just a basic necessity, like oxygen or sports. Yes, sports are a basic necessity in my mind, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Anyways, with the various jobs that I’ve applied for, I’ve tried some different versions of my cover letter in order to see which works best. There’s the general one where you just need to change the name of the position and the company, there’s the witty one that shows shades of your personality and then there’s the combination of the two.

I started off using the general cover letter but then I realized that it was pretty basic and that every job I applied for had different qualifications that I needed to list in the cover letter. Then, I used the witty one, which I decided, works for specific jobs, but not for all of them. Finally, I’ve been using the combination of both lately and it’s very enjoyable. I haven’t had any success with any of them – a few interviews here and there, but nothing that has led to a job. However, with the witty one, I did get an email back from the employer quickly asking for more writing samples and complimenting me on how well written and clever it was. Although I didn’t get that position, I’ll chalk it up as a victory for the home team.

Through my months of writing cover letters, I have a few suggestions for writing a great cover letter.

  1. Start it off with something unordinary, meaning, don’t write, “I am writing in regards to the job position yadda yadda yadda.” As an employer, I’m sure they get millions of cover letters that start out like that. In order to get recognized, you need to be different, so BE different right off the bat and come up with a great opening line that will keep the employer interested and intrigued right away.
  2. DON’T HAVE ANY SPELLING OR GRAMMAR MISTAKES!!! One of the biggest things that I am an advocate of is making sure that all words are spelled correctly and that there aren’t any misplaced commas or improper usages of semicolons. You’ll just look silly and immediately be dismissed from contention (most of the time). Which leads me into my next one –
  3. PROOFREAD PROOFREAD PROOFREAD! Reread your cover letter and make sure that you’re not missing words. Even if you use spellcheck, some common words will be passed over even if they’re spelled wrong because you missed a letter. If you have someone you trust, have them proofread your cover letter after you write it. Another way is to make the font size big; I’m talking like 48 point big and then proofread it. Since the font is so big, it’ll make it so there are only a few words on each line and it will force you to read it a lot slower which will help pick up those mistakes that could have been made.
  4. Tailor your cover letter to the position you’re applying for. If you have experience in social media and the position calls for social media, make sure you highlight that. If the position doesn’t call for social media, you can touch on it, but make sure that you focus the various aspects of the job description.

Those are some of the main tips I have for writing cover letters. I’ve had my cover letter proofed and edited by a few professors and friends, so what I have is definitely a beneficial piece that I can add to my resume. However, the toughest part is actually getting a call back and that’s something that I have yet to master the art of.

Any cover letter tips or suggestions? If so, drop them in a comment. I’d love to hear what other advice you have for us job seekers!