Reach Out and…
Keeping in touch is the cornerstone of successful networking
➔ Most job seekers are probably sick and tired of hearing about how important networking is in a successful job search. There is a good reason for that. It is important.
But how to do it well? Successful networking is more than just schmoozing and glad-handing. We’ll leave the question of whether it’s an art or a science to those with sufficient time on their hands to look into such weighty issues. We’ll just accept the fact that networking is important if you’re looking for your next corner of the workforce.
If only there was only an app for that
To be a successful networker, one must deal with managing the contacts you make. We don’t mean manipulating them. The simple task of keeping track of whom you’ve met, something about them and how/why they’re important as well as when and how to reach out to them next.
This is one area when technology can be your friend. A simple electronic spreadsheet can keep a list of your contact and all their pertinent information (employer, phone, email, et.al.) The best part is that you don’t have to be a techno-wizard to maintain such a database.
Don’t be scared off by “database.” No special skill is required. Any collection of information such as this is considered a database.
The best part is that you may already have the appropriate software. If you have Microsoft Office (with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), you’re in business. A simple Excel spreadsheet is more than adequate to tackle the task at hand.
If you don’t feel comfortable working with Excel, your local library may offer classes (typically they’re one evening for 1-2 hours.) If you’re more anxious, there are numerous tutorials on YouTube which can explain the basics.
Don’t have Microsoft? You can access Google Sheets for free with a free “gmail” account. Google Sheets is included as part of the Google Docs Editors suite of free web applications. It’s more similar than different from Microsoft Excel.
For the more adventurous, there are many reliable contact management software programs. A quick (but not all-inclusive) list would include: HubSpot CRM Platform. Zoho Contact Manager. Bitrix24. Streak. Pipedrive. Nimble. Nextiva. Nutshell.
Some are free. Some are not. We won’t recommend one over another. Readers can investigate for themselves and make their own decisions.
The bottom line? Keeping track of all your important networking contacts can be simple and easy… when you use the right tools.