Lily Herman, Guest Author
1. “Can You Introduce Me to [Person Your Contact Knows]?”
Is there a professional you don’t know but really want to get in touch with? If someone in your network knows that person, it’s a lot easier to break the ice. Just hop on over to this template, which makes it ridiculously easy to email a contact asking for an introduction.
If you don’t have any particular person you’d like to meet in mind, it can still be helpful to see if your professional contacts have ideas for others with whom you should connect. Tell them the types of people you’re hoping to meet, and there’s a solid chance they know at least one person who would be interesting for you to chat with.
3. “Do You Know Anyone at Company X?”
Whether you’re applying to new jobs or just exploring new possibilities, picking your contacts’ brains about what they know about the industry is always a good idea. For example, is there a certain company in your industry that is doing well but has a reputation for being a terrible place to work? These are things to have on your radar.
5. “Can We Have an Informational, Get Acquainted Interview?”
While it may be too much to ask someone for a job, asking someone for an informational interview is way less intimidating (and could also give you some leads for where to look!). If you’re not sure how to initiate the process of landing and going to an informational interview, these steps from career expert Ashley Stahl will make you seem like a pro.
WE SAVED the best question for last…
6. “How Can I Help You?”
While your professional contacts can be incredible career resources, remember that networking should never be a one-way street. So, when you’re asking your contacts for something — and even when you’re not! — always look for ways that you can help them, too. Regularly giving to others will ensure that they’re always happy to return the favor.
Copyright © 2015 – Lily Herman. Adapted from the article, “21 Questions You Haven’t Been Asking Your Network (But Really Should),” Lily is a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect, the world’s largest student-run college access organization. She is one of Glamour’s 2015 Top 10 College Women. Follow Liiy on Twitter.
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