After your conversation

Send a thank you note immediately. Hard copy letters are much appreciated but e-mail notes are also acceptable. Personalize your letter by referencing something from your conversation that was particularly helpful. If the person referred you to another friend or colleague, state your plan of action for contacting that person. 
View a sample networking thank you note

Review and evaluate the conversation. Go back over your notes to make sure the information is clear. Also, make note of any impressions you have from the conversation. Ask yourself:

  • What did I learn from this interview (both positive and negative impressions)?
  • How does what I learned fit with my own interests, abilities, goals, values, etc.?
  • What more would be helpful to know?
  • What plan of action can I make?

Contact people referred to you by the person you spoke with. Make sure to immediately mention the mutual contact as well as any particular reason why the person you originally spoke with thought this new person might be helpful. Remember to abide by all of the above rules regarding timing, etiquette, and thank you notes.

Keep your contacts informed. If your original contact referred you to someone who was helpful, send him/her a quick note with that information. Likewise, if a particular resource or research avenue was fruitful, let the person know that as well. Networking contacts -- especially Wesleyan alumni and parents -- are often sincerely interested in helping if they can and are curious about what ultimately happens in your career adventures.