Friday, June 26, 2009

The KEY to developing your network.

Stay in touch.

Swear to God, it's that simple.

Just because you've met someone doesn't mean they are part of your network. You have to develop a relationship with them. 

Drop them an e-mail once in a while. Or make a quick phone call. But always have a reason for contacting them. And, this is key, the reason should be about them. Not you. A relationship is a two-way street. It can't just be about what they can do for you. They have to get something out of it as well.

An example: Anyone who knows anything about me knows I moved into a new studio recently. I've written about it on Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is the perfect opening for a conversation. 

In fact, here's an e-mail I received:

How's the studio? I know, not a catchy line, but you start to run out of ideas after awhile. How's everything going? Has the transition been smooth? If you need help with anything, let me know. Mike.

I've known Mike awhile now. He's kept in regular contact with me. And it's always relationship-building. Never "Do you know where I can get a job?"

He asked questions. That encourages dialogue. Dialogue builds relationships. He also volunteered to help me out. And, he kept it short. He did everything right.

I called Mike that day and offered him an internship at Springboard Creative. Not because he asked for one (he didn't). But because, after all this time, I felt I knew him well. As part of that internship, I'll be helping him find a job.

And it was all because he kept in contact.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Facebook Yourself Out of a Job

"I'm trying to keep this on the down low, but ..."

So started a post from one of my Facebook connections. He thought of it as a private conversation between him and a friend. Unfortunately, he broadcast it to everyone connected to either of them.

Never, ever, ever, and I mean ever post something on Facebook, MySpace, etc. that you don't want everyone to know. Especially prospective employers.

I've written on the career dangers of this before. Just about anyone who is in a hiring position (within our industry anyway) is on Facebook and all the other social network sites. And they will check your page out. Do you feel comfortable with what they'll read or see?

Visit your own page with the mindset of a potential employer. Would you hire you based on your page?

Clean it up. Delete embarrassing photos (and remove tags from other people's photos). Remove unflattering comments. Rework you profile page. Start over if necessary. If they don't like what they see, this may be the only "contact" you have with them.

And making your page private will not solve your problems. There are easy ways around that.

Don't miss out on a great opportunity because you think your social pages are private. They're not.