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Choose the Right Networks to Join for Your Job Search
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Send a Regular Newsletter to Your Social Network Contacts

Sending your contacts an interesting, valuable, and consistent newsletter can keep you top of mind and active in your network during a job search. When done tactfully and with care, these professional (and sometimes personal) e-mail blasts can reconnect old contacts and build stronger relationships.

Don’t send a mass e-mail to your entire contact list from Outlook or any other e-mail client. Doing so may be considered spam from a legal standpoint. Also, it puts people in an awkward position. For example, they may find your e-mails annoying, but because you don’t offer an unsubscribe option, they may be afraid to offend you by asking to be removed.

So always use an e-mail marketing client to manage large (more than 50) e-mail blasts. These companies ensure that your e-mail is delivered, offers an easy unsubscribe option, and complies with the most recent CAN-SPAM law.

How to set up your e-mail newsletter system

MailChimp is a good e-mail newsletter system because you can include up to 2,000 people from your contact list for free. The user interface is intuitive, and the newsletter templates are really nice. After you sign up for MailChimp, follow these steps to set up your e-mail newsletter system:

  1. Set up your e-mail list by clicking on Create List.

    Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your first list. Try typing in “Networking Contacts” for your list name.

  2. Import your list of contacts into MailChimp.

    You can import contacts into MailChimp by linking your Gmail account, uploading a spreadsheet, or simply copying and pasting.

  3. Start your first newsletter and choose how you want it to look.

    MailChimp calls your newsletter, or any time you send out an e-mail, a campaign. It offers many layouts and color schemes for your campaigns.

  4. Send out your newsletter.

    Keep on top of your newsletter by scheduling an hour each month (or quarter) to put together content to include in your newsletter.

Gather content to send to your network

Planning your content strategy is critical. To make sure your newsletter remains a consistent part of your networking and your career:

  • Bookmark any interesting articles you think your contact list will enjoy. (If you’re using Delicious to keep track of websites you like, you can tag it with “newsletter.”) Later, when you’re writing content for your newsletter, just go to your bookmarked websites (or your Delicious account and search for “newsletter”) and attach them.

  • Link your personal blog (if you have one) with the newsletter by using MailChimp’s RSS tag. It automatically imports your most recent posts and populates your newsletter for you.

  • Keep a journal of your professional and personal news. Evernote is a good tool for journaling. When you’re ready to write your newsletter, look at your journal and pick out three interesting things that have happened to you recently.

  • Tell an ongoing story. You may tell an ongoing story of your job search and then continue with how your new job is going, or you may want to share in a professional learning experience or volunteer project for an organization.

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