The first rule of networking is to do it all the time, not just while job-hunting. Keeping in touch, as well as helping out people on your networking list whenever possible, ensures that when you actually do need help finding a job, you can easily call in your chits.
Following are some ways to stay in touch with people in your network, even when you’re not actively looking for work. (Note: Passing along the lame joke that was forwarded to you on e-mail by our ex-college roommate isn’t one of them.)
• Meet for a bite to eat
• Invite to a party
• Invite to a baseball game or a play when you have an extra ticket
• Mail an article that would be helpful or interesting
• Send holiday, birthday, congratulatory, and get-well cards when appropriate
• Share information about job openings
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