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Build your career network on relationships not numbers this 2013 holiday season

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To ensure you're creating a lasting network along your career path, focus on relationships. People will be more willing to provide help, advice, and further contacts if you value your network's contributions no matter how small. Sending thank you cards, especially during the holiday season. Make sure your thank you letters demonstrate gratitude, appreciation, and best wishes in the new year. Each thank you letter should be personalized, and if possible, handwritten. Typically, thank you letters are sent via snail mail; however, free ecards can be created. By saying thank you, you give back and make mentoring worthwhile for those in your network.

According to Dorie Clark in Reinventing You, if well-crafted, your thank you letter can build relationships while revealing your needs. Try these strategies.

  1. Communicate that you need help with a one sentence position statement.
  2. Show respect for the favors your mentors do.
  3. Come up with 5-10 effective questions. One of them should be a request for other names in the field.
  4. Demonstrate relentless hustle and a commanding presence by telling your mentor you will follow up with them.
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