In a world of technology, it seems easy to keep in touch with people all around the world, and it is a lot easier than it has been in the past! In the professional world, we’ve fallen into the trap of LinkedIn, virtual portfolios, and online job applications. As I’ve had various internships and jobs throughout my undergraduate and graduate career, I’m constantly learning new ways to stay in touch with important connections for the future. Here are three ways to actually keep in touch with networking connections that aren’t just LinkedIn messages.
I know, I know. It’s another social media site and not very professional, but if you’re Facebook friends with any network connections (old bosses, coworkers, professors, etc.) this is a great way to stay in touch over the years! Staying involved in their lives keeps you on their radar. If you do this, the next time you need a letter of recommendation or someone to put down as a reference, they’ll know exactly who you are and what good things they can say about your work! Just make sure to keep your Facebook presence PG if you’re friends with anyone on there who may be able to influence your future!
Holiday cards may be a little out-of-date now, but sending along a Christmas card or a "Happy Birthday!" email to your old boss could be a great way to remind them that you’re still around and are interested in what they’re doing. Jot a little note wishing them a good year/holiday/etc. and offer your contact information again. It may even prompt them to reach out (maybe with an opportunity for you)!
Initiate a meeting
Shoot them an email or call and invite them for coffee. Be ready to chat about what they’re doing in their work and how it pertains to what you’ve been working on. This will show your genuine interest in the field, and their work in particular.