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Building Your Professional Network: Part II

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A few weeks ago, we looked at Networking, specifically, building your professional network. (Sept. 19 blog posting). Today, we'll review methods for reaching out to your network contacts.

Contacting People
By Phone - Write an outline of what you want to say; this will decrease any fears you might have and ensure you communicate effectively and obtain the information you are seeking. Your network will recognize that you are an organized and professional candidate.

By Email - Describe your career goals and ask your contact to assist by sharing your information with school personnel. Additionally, ask your contact to share information with you regarding any opportunities they may be aware of related to teaching, coaching, or other professional roles.

Follow up! - Stay in touch with your contacts on a regular basis. Avoid following up more than once a week; however, every other week may be appropriate to stay connected with your network. Provide relevant updates to all members of your network on your job search status.

Keep Building - As you meet additional potential contacts, continue to develop your network. Remain proactive.

Express your Appreciation - Send thank-you notes to individuals as they provide input or serve as references for you. Thank all members of your network after signing your contract. Express your appreciation for their assistance with securing your new position as a teacher or administrator.

Making the effort to build and maintain your network will pay off in significant ways regarding your job search and the pursuit of achieving your career goals. Plan to begin building your network today!

--Douglas Reichenberger
Director of Alumni Career Services
Malone University, on behalf of AAEE

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