Focus on face time! That’s the message from research that shows you get a lot more done face to face than you do via email. What’s true in the work environment is even more true in your job search. Here are just a few of the advantages of face to face communication:
- Stronger engagement. Connections build much more quickly and powerfully during in-person encounters.
- You are more memorable. Who do you remember better: A person who sent you an email or one who met you for coffee?
- It’s faster and easier to learn. One of the goals of network is to learn about and from your contacts. This is greatly facilitated by being together rather than connected through cyberspace.
- You can read people better. So much subtlety is lost in written and online communication. In person, facial expression, tone of voice, body language and much more help you understand your contact better.
- Energizing. Having a reason to get out of the house and meet someone can raise your mood. Especially if you are conducting much of your job search alone and on the internet, it’s invigorating to be face to face with people on a regular basis.
Of course face time is more time consuming and harder to arrange than shooting off emails. Here are some ways to manage face to face meetings:
- Prioritize and aim for in-person meetings with contacts who are most likely to help move your job search forward
- Have a clear reason for the meeting, and agenda to share with your contact
- Set a limit on the duration when asking for a meeting and respect your contacts’ time constraints
- Set a goal for face to face meetings each week based on what your schedule can afford
- Do not book so many in-person meetings that you can’t keep up with other activities. A balance is important
- Make the most of each meeting by going in with clear objectives and a commitment to listening and learning from the other person
- Follow up after the meeting
Focus on face time. Don’t stay stuck behind a computer screen. Find ways to get out and meet people in person on a regular basis and see how it helps your job search. As you develop relationships, make face to face meetings a goal.