How to Write a Networking Letter

Mary Ann writes:
I was wondering how one would go about composing a letter to someone
they already met but forgot to give their business card to.
I typed up a letter and simply stated that we met at such and such meeting
and that I was interested in adding him to my network. I stated that I am a
job-skills instructor and that I teach my students to network and I try to follow
my own advice. I included my business card. We work for the same department
and have mailboxes in the same area but I don t have his contact information
so I gave him mine and asked him if he would be willing to share his with me.
I just wanted to know if this was the right way of going about this.

The Career Doctor responds:
I think the approach you took was right on the money. Why lose a
potential network contact simply because you did not have a
business card with you one day?
And it s a great lesson to your students — and now to my readers.
So even if you forget to exchange business cards at any kind of
networking or organizational event it s never too late to follow up with
the people you want to add to your network.
Simply do as you did a short letter or email reminding the person
where you met asking permission to add the person to your network
and including your key contact information.
You might follow up your letter — after you receive the person’s (hopefully)
positive response — with more detail or with an offer for coffee.
What if you don’t have business cards? Create your own networking cards.
Almost any print shop offers deals on cards (and you can even print them
from a computer with special paper).
Networking cards are the same size and shape of business cards (3-1/2
wide and 2 high) contain key contact information like business cards
but instead of listing a company and job title a networking card focuses
on your job objective or unique selling proposition. Be sure to include all
your pertinent contact information including your name phone number
email address postal mail address; and Web site address cell phone
or fax numbers (if you have them).
Keep your business or networking cards clean and crisp and bring them
EVERYWHERE you go — to networking events (obviously) career and job fairs professional meetings social gatherings parties weddings and
anywhere else you may run into potential contacts everywhere.
See a sample
networking contact letter
Read this article published on Quintessential Careers:
Business Cards: An Essential Job-Search Tool for Career Changers
and College Students When A Resume Just Won’t Do
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