Give yourself homework.
Paper beats your mind palace. "The more notes you take," says Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, "the easier it will be both for you to recall the conversation and for your new connection to remember you when you follow up." That means as soon as he or she scoots away (hopefully not in relief), you whip out Evernote and jot down highlights from the conversation, such as how you bonded over Stravinsky and shoe horns. Hey, it could happen.
Lock it in.
It's a total Tracy Flick move, but we have all the confidence and you can do it not jarringly. Before you shake hands and
make your way back to the bar promise to see each other soon, be like "Hey, let's just set up our next meeting now before we both get super busy." If you really hit it off, bring this up even earlier. "It makes it so much easier to walk away from a conversation when you know the next one is already lined up," Salemi says. "That way, you know you're going to have a longer conversation later on and can focus on leveraging that valuable networking time to meet more people at the event." Quality and quantity all in one.
Have, like, only a little chill.
Do you want a job or not? Say you got a card but failed to sync your calendar because that felt like Too Much. NBD—you've still got a 48-hour window to remind your contact what a personable young lady who enjoys The Firebird you are. Four things to include in your email:
- a descriptive subject line like "Stravinsky and shoe horns at Snoozeville conference"
- how you met and something unique you talked about (see: "Give yourself homework 😓")
- your purpose for writing, which is, duh, to arrange a meeting soon
- a few dates and times you're available (you're flexible), with a suggestion for location
Mind your manners.
Like in online dating, you want stuff, and they want stuff. But remember that you're probably more thirsty than they are, so you have to be extra nice. Go into the meeting prepared. Send a thank-you note within 48 hours after that shows you paid attention. (This is also the place to politely remind them they said they'd hook you up with more people who might be able to help you.)
You know how random people randomly like some of your randomest Instagrams so you notice them? This is that but less desperate. To maintain the relationship you've built through hard work and only slightly more than zero chill, give your friend a follow or RT and occasionally (every few months or so) send a casual email. Show that you're helpful and not a creepy bot—you're a good person to know.
Want more career advice? Or, better yet, to finally become your own boss? Catch the premiere of new show Quit Your Day Job on March 30 at 10/9c on Oxygen. Keep an eye out for Marie Claire executive editor Lea Goldman!
Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.