Relationship Management Archives - Matt Black Ink
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Relationship Management

There’s more to you in-person than on-paper. While the action verbs and adjectives peppered across your resume and cover letter are definitely your friends, they can only take you so far. What they can’t do is serve as a substitute for an infectious laugh or a big, bright smile. They also don’t capture the passion you have for [insert industry here] or describe how hard you worked to achieve [insert result here]. You tell me, what’s more memorable? Reading about some of your accomplishments or listening to you describe them, showing off your passion for the subject matter at hand? So how come so many people are apprehensive when it comes to “making the first move” and setting up networking meetings? In talking with countless students and young professionals, there's a genuine fear to do so – which I feel stems from a fear of rejection, the dreaded “what if they say no?” The truth is, some will ignore you... no point in sugar-coating that. But, others won't. And it's those others that you really want to capitalize on. Look at it this way: asking a potential employer or professional in the industry you’re exploring to meet over coffee helps humanize you and your candidacy/brand. And the value of building relationships before you ever craft a cover letter or polish your resume can’t be overstated. If you wait until your dream job is posted to reach out, you’re nothing more than a small fish in a vast ocean of candidates. Consider these other benefits that asserting yourself and setting up informal conversations can bring about:

Spending a good chunk of my spare time in the digital universe, I’ve seen things get downright ugly between mutual connections.

Whether it stems from general frustration, differences of opinion or flat out cheap shots, online beefs go from 0-to-100 real quick. Why aren’t we treating each other better? Frankly, it’s an incredible thing that I’m able to wake up each day and engage in conversations across continents, spanning time zones, all with a few simple taps on my iPhone. So how come the marvels of modern technology can’t transcend or put a muzzle on hostility? Personally, I think people forget that social relationships are the same as relationships in “real life.” Friends on Bridge I find myself in conversations where I feel inclined to add the words “from Twitter” or “on Facebook” after I use the word “friend.” It’s a bizarre thing, but it happens regularly. And frankly, it got me starting to question why I do that…? We’ve become so used to differentiating between our real and online lives, and yet those who have built positive and productive communities understand that digital friendships are a huge part of their everyday. I mean, asides from bots and spammers, these are still other human beings behind these accounts… so why aren’t they as important as the colleague I see in-person each day? It all boils down to several misconceptions about the concept of building and maintaining relationships on social media. And frankly, some of these are the basic fundamentals of human communication! Nevertheless, it’s time to dispel some of the most commonly held myths surrounding your relationships on social: