Keeping on top of professional relationships when you’re just starting out is essential but often quite challenging, even though there are tools to make our life easier. Whether it’s applying for internships and full-time positions, interviewing for your dream job, or simply keeping in touch with professors and mentors, the way you interact on the phone or in an email determines the tone and often also the outcome of your conversations.
We want to feel important. This is one of the bases of any human relationship or interaction, and it is up to you to make sure you stay on top of what is important to individuals within your network. In professional interactions, it is often crucial to remember details from previous meetings, what you talked about, what information was shared, important dates and time, so that your mentors feel their time is valued and appreciated.
Email (and especially Gmail) has made this essentially painless. Before you respond, you can search through past email exchanges and remind yourself of all those important details. But it doesn’t need to stop there.
Rapportive makes relationship-building easy
Rapportive is a Gmail plugin that gets rid of ads within your inbox and substitutes them with useful information about your contacts. Whenever you’re reading an email, you can now see up-to-date information about the sender in the sidebar, ready to be consulted if you perhaps need to refresh your mind about who John Wilkins actually is. Rapportive automatically tries to match Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social profiles, showing you recent updates and also providing quick links if you do need further information. In this way it can help you in building up your professional relationships.
It goes both ways
Rapportive is a great example of the importance of maintaining your web presence. It takes the concept of “googling someone” to an additional level, streaming such information straight into a Gmail inbox. Are you happy with everything a potential employer might see?
What if you at least went and edited the information Rapportive displays about you? Even if you’re not actively taking part in a conversation, you may still be involved. And it’s always better to have a say!
What do you think? Would you find Rapportive useful?
Anna is a Social Media Marketing Assistant at Pepsmedia, based in Cambridge, UK. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, she joined the small team straight out of university and is now helping businesses engage with customers online and build communities. She is passionate about the use of social media both in business and for individuals. To find out more, read her Life With Social Media blog, or connect with her on Twitter @annamanasova and LinkedIn.