Following Up is Crucial to Building Professional Connections

Next Steps: Following Up After Networking Events or Informational Interviews

At Mohr Career Services, many students ask us how to follow up after meeting with a professional at a networking event or conducting an initial conversation (informational interview). And, let’s face it, this can be tricky. Nobody wants to be annoying, but not following up signals non-engagement and is unlikely to help you build your base of connections.

So, here are a few options for following up:

  • Follow up about a shared interest. If the professional you meet at a networking event starts talking about Duck football (this can happen, once a Duck fan always a Duck fan), then you have an easy way to reach back out. If some type of news comes up about the Ducks, you could reach out to your new connection and ask them if they’ve heard. Then, include something about what you’ve done since you last spoke (maybe a project you are working on, etc.). If you have an additional question to ask about their industry/job, go ahead and ask it.
  • Forward an interesting article or news item. If you and your networking contact had a conversation about Artificial Intelligence, for example, and you see something interesting on the subject, send the link to your contact and let them know you thought they might enjoy it. Then consider following up with what you thought about the piece.
  • Send an update on your progress. If a professional has taken the time to speak with you about a job/company/industry, reach out every once in a while with an update on your career or skill-building efforts. If your contact offered you advice, ALWAYS send an update when you follow that advice and let them know what happened. People tend to want to help people who appreciate their input.

Bottom line: It is not just okay to follow up, it is necessary. Your job is to maintain and grow some professional relationships. That doesn’t make you needy—you are not expecting anyone to just give you a job—it shows that you are curious and engaged in the process of becoming a professional.

For more assistance with building your professional connections, make an appointment with a Mohr Career Services Career Advisor.

By Pauline Thaler (she/her)
Pauline Thaler (she/her) Career Advisor