(Those of you who missed part one will find it at: http://www.thefeng.org/mattsblog/2017/01/building-your-inner-circle-of-friends-3/)
The idea that you can wipe the slate clean is an enduring and endearing idea of mankind, and one I fully support. No matter how bad you have been at networking in the past year, this week you have the opportunity to get a strong start on building and strengthening your inner circle of friends in 2017.
The best analogy I can come up with tonight is not a sailing one. (I know everyone is disappointed, but I’ll try to come up with one in the next few days.) Hopefully all of you are familiar with the circus act where someone sets up plates and straws. It is very much this way in building and strengthening your inner circle of friends. As soon as you get a substantial number of plates spinning, you have to go back to the beginning of the line and give each of those plates another spin before you set up any more.
Our rules of engagement in The FENG are very straight forward. First of all, we never begin any message with “Dear FENG Member.” That would be rude and impersonal, and we would never do anything like that, now would we? “To Whom It May Concern” as well as “Dear Sir or Madam” are also words and phrases that you should almost never use, especially when you are writing to someone whose name you actually know.
The subject when writing for the first time can be: “Member of The FENG’s Manufacturing SIG” for example. I’m open to suggestions on appropriate subject headings and you may send them in to Leads@TheFENG.org and Leslie will publish your suggestions as well as any others that might come to mind from this editorial.
The first paragraph of your email should indicate why I am so lucky that you have chosen ME to send an email to about your career. Was it because I worked at a firm where you worked? Is it because we have similar SIG’s selected? I know I am fortunate that you are reaching out to me, but “inquiring minds want to know.”
The next one or two paragraphs should be a written 90-second announcement. There honestly is no need to write a whole lot more. If we are at the beginning of “a beautiful friendship,” I will get a sense of that from your brief background summary.
The reason you don’t need more is that my next suggestion is that you ALWAYS include a copy of your resume. Isn’t it a little forward you might ask to send a resume? No, it is just something that will save us both a lot of time should you call, or should I decide to call you. Resumes are written in a relatively consistent format and digesting them doesn’t usually even require Tums to fight heartburn.
The final suggestion for tonight is to sign your email with a FULL outgoing signature. If you really don’t want anyone to visit you, I do approve of only including your City/State instead of a full address. I won’t be able to send you any gifts, but I will at least know your time zone.
So, this should get you started on a bang up 2017. Those of you who have suggestions can also send them to Doug Fine (DougFine@TheFECG.com) so he can more easily restart his Fine Points column.