I made a speech yesterday to a group of 90 Interns at RBS (Bank) in London. They were 1st and 2nd year university students working for a week at Easter to get experience in the sector, and more importantly, to make such a good impression that they get asked back to be summer interns at RBS in 2013. It was the first step in a possible career, so they were interested and open to any thoughts that would help them ‘Fit in and Stand out’, to make that future job offer more likely to happen. They were a great group of people and we covered such topics as personal branding, starting conversations, developing social skill and flexibility, confidence and many other things. The we looked at ‘keeping in touch’ after the event. And Johnny Chan, one of the Undergrads, came up to me afterwards and said…
My situation is that I never managed to make develop further relationships with new friends even if I have their contacts. Therefore most of my friends are limited to current course mates. I hope you would be happy to give me some more advice.
More than happy Johnny, and it’s a great question that lots of very experienced networkers ask. So in brief, I’d suggest a few of the following ideas-
- Connect with them on Linked In for professional colleagues, Twitter if you have separate business and personal accounts and Facebook for friends. Then use the tools that are a core part of each of these sites to keep in touch. And do it as soon as you can after you meet them.
- LinkedIn– If you’re not on it, join it, it’s free- here, and once you’re on it, use it. Update your status regularly, send them direct messages, share interesting articles with them that you find on the web, and respond to the stuff they post too, even if it’s just pressing the ‘like’ or ‘follow’ buttons when they post an update.
- Twitter– keep the dull stuff like ‘just eating a bagel’ to a minimum, and use twitter to share interesting content you find on the web- link twitter to your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts if you want to. Then when you read an interesting article or find a great website, you can ‘share’ it with one click to all of your contacts.
- Facebook– I tend to keep Facebook for friends, and nothing else, but as a student you may choose Facebook as your primary online tool for keeping in touch, and that’s fine. Just be thoughtful about what you post, and what the people you’re connected to post too.
In the next post- What can you share using these tools? How about some or all of the following things?