Keeping connections alive and well should be a top priority after a successful internship experience. Even if taking a position where you interned is not your goal, you should nurture your new contacts. Remember, it isn’t always “what you know” that matters. Staying connected with “who you know” can lay the groundwork for the best career connections.
Whether you choose to connect through email, text, phone or even a personal note, take time to make the message meaningful. And don’t limit your contacts to only other interns. Expand to others that you met, especially your supervisor and persons in leadership roles.
Connecting with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is recognized as one of the most powerful business connection tools, but will you use it to its greatest advantage?
You can increase your response rate and lay groundwork for meaningful LinkedIn connections by inviting others to your professional network with a personalized invitation. Expecting a warm response from the standard invitation is lame!
So, instead of “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”, try:
- For another intern: “Working with you this summer was a highlight of my experience. I’d like to stay in touch with you and keep up with your future plans.”
- For your manager: “Thanks for making my internship so valuable. Your insights and feedback were excellent, and I learned from you in more ways than you know. I’d appreciate the chance to stay in touch with you!”
- For another acquaintance from your internship: “Although I didn’t work with you directly, I admired your approach and heard many great comments about you. I’d enjoy staying in touch and hope to catch up with you sometime soon!”
A well-crafted invitation gives the recipient a boost and will strengthen your professional relationships. It may event prompt a glowing LinkedIn recommendation or endorsement!
Make it Happen
One your connections are established, you need to work at keeping them fresh. Many experts recommend a communication plan of a minimum of 3 times per year.
Don’t assume you’ll just remember to reach out. Schedule your follow-ups, and hold yourself accountable. Keep the personal feel in your messages, but make them brief. Sending a link to an article that might be of interest or invitation to coffee or lunch is a nice touch. Acknowledge career highlights or experiences if you can, and include a brief update about yourself.
Through careful development and diligence, your connections may offer great value in future job hunts, or in situations where you need career advice. At the very least, enjoy the personal benefits of many new friendships!
Knopman Marks thanks you for making a connection with us! We wish you all the best.