One of the most important networking skills you can acquire is the ability to make people feel appreciated. It’s an art form that doesn’t come easily to some people, but, like most social skills, it can be learned. Acknowledging what people have done for you and meant to you is a great way to break the ice and get back in touch during a job search. It’s also essential when someone helps you with advice or leads.
Here’s how a thank you or acknowledgment might look. “Dear Bob: Thanks so much for the time you spent with me last week discussing the industry outlook and new product trends. I wanted you to know that your advice will be a big help to me in my interviews for sales jobs. If it’s OK with you, I’d like to stay in touch and let you know how my job search progresses.”
This note is a great example of what makes acknowledgment powerful. First, it’s specific. People don’t listen to generic compliments and feedback – they attribute it to you being nice and don’t take it to heart. Mention what you valued the most and what you plan to do with the advice, help or lead.
Second, it’s recent. It’s better to thank people as soon as you can. It means more when you take the time to write or call right away. Third, it sets up the expectation of a relationship; it opens the door to more communication. That’s what building a network is all about.
- Thanks for your support
- Thanks for the referral
- Thanks for the opportunity to learn more about your business (or industry)
- Thanks for thinking of me
- Thanks for taking the time to…
- Thanks for staying in touch.
Who should you be writing to or calling today?