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Reactivating Your Networking Contacts

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No matter where you are in your job search, activating your professional contacts is critical to finding hidden opportunities. Most people fail to keep in touch with most of the people they’ve met at past jobs, networking events, or other legal industry functions. But activating your professional contacts by reestablishing a connection can do wonders for your job hunt. Here are a few tips on how to do it right.

  1. Create a list. Create a list of people you have met in the past that you believe can help you find a job. This list can be former co-workers, mentors, or just people you’ve met in the course of networking in the law community.
  2. Organize your list. Once you’ve gathered names and contact information, organize your list so that your most recent contacts are the people you reach out to first. For example, if you just met someone last week, you would reconnect with him or her before the person you met two years ago.
  3. Call or email. Reaching out to your old contacts could mean calling and emailing. Since so many people receive a lot of email, making a phone call could improve your chances of getting a response. And if you don’t have their current email or phone number, connecting via social media is a good option.
  4. Just reconnect. Once you make first contact with an old connection, don’t mention your job search right away. Simply reach out to them to let them know what you’ve been up to and ask them about their lives. While your most immediate need is finding a job, activating your contacts is about establishing long-term relationships with these people.
  5. Create a schedule. Consider reaching out to old contacts at least a few times a year. Four times a year is a good start for contacts that are distant and once a month may be better for contacts that you have a closer relationship with.

Once you’ve activated your professional contacts, you’ll be surprised by how many people will be willing to help you.

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