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Giving and getting effective introductions

March 06, 2015

Giving and getting effective introductions

A timely introduction can change a job search experience completely. Introductions have created business partnerships, helped people to explore industries, and made the entire job search process more personal. Read more for tips on how to give and get effective introductions!

Need help?

Before you even get an introduction, the first steps are to identify the two types of people who can help you: a) your connections who can introduce you to others and b) people you can be introduced to.

After you've been connected to someone, the ball is now in your court! But before you respond, make sure to do the following things:

  • Provide context: the person you've been introduced to may not know much about you (or anything at all, apart from a short description from your connection). Help them out and provide some context as to why you wanted to reach out - otherwise they might not know what information would be helpful to you.
  • Include the details: you can even take a step further to attach your resume, relevant documents, or your LinkedIn profile (be sure to customize your URL and update your profile) so they can get a sense of your background. 
  • Request their availability: after briefly telling them about yourself, request their availability, making sure to accommodate their schedule and location, because after all, they are doing you a favor! Request 15 minutes of their time, at most. 

Click here for some introductory email samples!

Received help? 

Here are a few things you can do after you've had an informational conversation with your newly formed connection.

  • Thank them within 24 hours of your conversation: the sooner, the better! This way, your conversation will be fresh in their minds and if they suggested connecting you to additional people, they can remember exactly who they had in mind.
  • Be specific and mention aspects of why they were helpful: not to flatter them, but as an affirmation that you were paying attention and that indeed, it was helpful to you. Follow-up on specific steps - did they suggest an additional introduction and provide contact information? Follow up in a timely way to note the value. 
  • Blind copy (BCC) the person who introduced you: be sure to do this when you send out your follow-up "thank you" email. That way, your original connection knows that you were able to get the help you needed. It matters! Additional introductions are more likely to come your way when you do so.
  • Set a reminder to follow-up: when you achieve a relevant milestone, be sure to follow-up with a second thank you! People like to hear about what happened to people may invested time in. Keep your emails brief!​

Give help

Want to return the favor? Offer to help someone else using the following steps:

  • Keep others in mind: whether they are classmates, friends, or other people you know in mind as you begin to meet people in different industries and functions. Take note of the people who you are thinking to connect to each other - after all, it reflects on you as well.
  • Make sure both people agree to "meet": the term for this is a double opt-in introduction - this prevents the awkwardness of creating unwanted obligations and making others feel like they must be willing to connect.
  • Use LinkedIn to find contacts and connect others together: hear about classmates who are interested in the industry that your best friend is in? Reach out to your best friend first, then offer to connect the two of them. Keep friends and classmates in mind as you begin connecting with people of different industries/functions - I'm sure your connections would appreciate it!
  • Use email to make introductions: it offers the flexibility to include attachments and usually gets a much faster response than LinkedIn introductions.