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Important Networking Follow-Ups: How to Get Those Job Leads Calling When you leave a networking event, you may be buzzing at the prospects offered by all of those new contacts you made, but soon, the cold reality sets in. How will you be able to convert those contacts you made over a glass of wine into valuable business opportunities for you? Successful networking is all in the follow-up. If you?re looking for a job, following up is all the more crucial. Without touching base after a networking event, you become just another face in the crowd of job hunting hopefuls. The first important rule for following-up with networking contacts is to lay the foundations for the follow-up during the initial meeting. At networking events, there can be a lot of empty promises thrown around. Use that first meeting to convey the message that you haven?t gotten caught up in ?networking fever? but instead that you are very serious about exploring the job opportunity that you?re discussing with your new contact. Ask the contact when would be a good time to follow-up with them, and then reiterate the information back to them at the end of your conversation: ?I look forward to speaking with you Friday at 2 p.m.? If they don?t give you a specific time, then suggest one to them. This rule holds true even if your contact is giving you a lead on a job not with them but with another contact of their own. Let them know you appreciate the information by saying, ?Thanks. I will plan on calling Mary on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.? Not only will this convey your seriousness about the opportunity presented to you, but it may also get you some handy inside information, as the contact may reply, ?Oh, no, Mary will be out of town until Thursday ? call her then.? The next important rule to networking follow-ups is to follow up with EVERY lead a contact gives you. If a contact suggests that you call someone whom you know won?t really be able to help you in your job search, call him or her anyway. Otherwise, when your contact finds out you aren?t taking their advice, they may just decide not to give you any more the future and any business person can tell you that you never know from whom the most valuable lead will come some day. Keep the lines of communication open by giving any and all suggestions a whirl. Last but not least, do the actual following-up. Follow up with your contact exactly when you said you would, and in the exact manner you said you would (phone, email, letter, etc). If for some reason you can?t make contact at the arranged time, keep trying. If you haven?t made arrangements for a follow-up with a contact, then the rule of thumb is to follow-up with them as soon as possible after meeting them. Try to at least send an email or letter the next day saying what a pleasure it was to meet and that you look forward to talking more in the future, and then say in that note when you plan to follow-up with your contact by phone. Then, of course, stick to that new follow-up obligation. Even if the promises made by a contact while networking don?t pan out for you on the job front, don?t cross them off of your contact list. Keep them in the loop about your job search and your career goals. While they may not have been able to make if happen for you this time, you never know what they might be able to do for you in the future. Your most promising business contact may be someone you already know.

The "Catch" to Some of these Freebie Sites Remember that old saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch?" Well, it's not true?there are plenty of freebies out there. However, there are some things you should know about if you are going to go after these freebies. The World Wide Web is awash with web sites that like to offer visitors with loads of tempting freebies. But although many of these are legitimate offers, there are some things you should know about these freebie sites. Here are some things to know about these freebie sites. Getting Things for Free?A Caveat Here is the basic caveat when it comes to these freebie offers?there is usually something you will have to endure in order to get your freebie. Although you may not have to make any sort of financial contribution or monetary expense, you will have to pay in some small non-monetary way. Here is a quick rundown of various kinds of 'catches' that you may come across as you seek out the best of the web's freebies. Watching Ads Before You Get to the Good Stuff One of the most common techniques that websites will use before you can get access to their freebies is to force you to watch ads. There are many different versions of this method. Many sites that promote freebies will support their site through advertisements. Most advertisements show up as pop-up or banner ads. Some websites also use video websites. With the ubiquity of high speed Internet, video ads have lately become the preferred method of advertisement on many websites. The less subtle of these ads are the pop-up and banner ads. Pop-up ads are often quite obtrusive and they can interrupt your enjoyment of the website. You might want to avoid ad-based freebie sites at work, as these can often interfere with your screen. Many popular freebie websites also offer ad-free versions of their content. This may be something to consider if you really find the website's content valuable. Be Wary of Automatic E-mail Sign-Ups Many freebie websites will sign you up automatically for their email newsletters. The worst-case scenario is when the website allows its partners to bombard you with email ads. What is the best way to avoid getting on an unwanted email list? Read the fine print, and whenever you get the option, uncheck the opt-in box at the very bottom of the page. Take Care of Your Privacy Many sites that offer freebies make money by selling the personal information that they gain from their web traffic. In order to avoid having your personal information being sold, you should avoid giving your personal information to websites that can't provide you with an upfront privacy policy. You should also look for the TRUSTe seal that ensures your personal information is kept secure and private. Also, never provide more information than you need to provide. Avoid Large Downloads Whenever Possible Another thing you should watch out for are large downloads. Although there are many legitimate large downloads out there, you should avoid sites that don't tell you exactly what you are downloading, how long the download will take, and how big the file size is. Watch Out for Disappearing Websites If there is one thing to know about freebie websites is that they are often 'here today, gone tomorrow' type enterprises. Many freebie websites simply don't survive for very long. You should think hard before committing to a website that offers free services that you will have to depend on. The last thing you want is to depend on a website's services, and then have those services disappear or suspended.

A Woman?s Appearance Do?s and Don?t for the Job Interview Proper dress and interview attire is one of the first and most important things that you have to work with when you are invited to an interview. Whether you are trying your luck on a position of CEO or as an entry-level worker, the person hiring you will make a great deal in out of the clothes you are wearing. Appropriate clothing is one of the first things that an interviewer will see of you and if you are off with it, you do not even have to talk much anymore. For a woman the dress to impress factor is way more complicated than for a man. A man can always choose to wear a business suit and tie, while there is not quite such an equivalent for the female clothing market. To give you a good idea about what women?s clothing articles you should wear when going for an job interview, here a short list: blazers, closed-toed shoes, dress pants, dress shirts, dress coats, women?s suits, skirts, hosiery and turtlenecks. All these clothing articles should be in solid colors and patterns. It is recommended to wear such colors as black, blue, navy, gray, brown and white/beige for shirts and tops. Colors and patterns need to be subtle and should not give the interviewer the wrong idea about you. Bright red attire might suggest that you are wilder or need to be the center of the room and this is not one of the traits that an employer wants to see in their employees. For women it is also very important that they do not wear to sexy cloths. No deep cut shirts that are exposing too much of the chest area, as this could suggest sexual tendencies to the future employer. Going along with this point is the skirt lengths. Should you decide to wear a skirt to your interview, keep your skirt lengths long enough to reach the knees or surpass them. Anything shorter is seen as na´ve or even worse. Especially important when wearing a skirt to an interview is to wear tights and similar hosiery. Hosiery should be plain and without patterns. The colors should be complementing your business attire but not be too contrasting. When getting ready for your interview, besides the apparel you are wearing, the way you look is just as important. How about your hair? Make sure your hair is neat and do not style for a party. When putting on make-up, tread lightly. Do not use provocative colors such as way to red lips, especially in pale skin types. Make-up needs to be subtle and needs to emphasize your business attire. Most women do like their fingernails adorned with nail polish. When getting ready for an interview, it is important that your fingernails are neat and clean and when using nail polish, the color needs to complement your attire. Bright red is one of the colors that is not recommended to be used. Rather a clear, golden or darker subtle red color is more appropriate. It is also important to remember that anything that distracts from you as a person while being in an interview can take away the chance to land the job. Whenever you are going for an important interview it is recommended to have friends, family or maybe even colleagues check out your attire. Often times you might be wearing something that is not appropriate or does not fit right and in the excitement and rush of getting ready you might have not even realized it. Also, keep in mind that you need to feel comfortable in what you wear to be confident and secure when talking to the interviewer.