By Caroline Vazzana
This post originally appeared on the blog, MakingManhattan.com.
After an incredible semester or two of interning, you probably felt like you could take on the world, right? I felt unstoppable after my first few internships, but when my glamorous experiences came to an end it felt like my career path also came to an abrupt halt. I had a whole semester of sitting in classrooms ahead of me and I was scared that the professional relationships I worked so hard to cultivate would fade. It’s not an unrealistic fear, which is why staying in touch with all of your former bosses is so important. The trick is to keep the connection fresh and relevant without being too eager or annoying. Let’s be honest, you know your boss’s schedule is packed with meetings, events and plenty of editing, so you want your note to bring a quick breath of fresh air to her day. Here’s how to do it.
Say, you see something that reminds you of your boss — a restaurant she told you about or a television show you both love. (The Bachelor franchise is a sure bet for a successful conversation starter.) Use it as an excuse to send her a short note to find out how things are going. For example:
Dear [Insert Name Here],
I hope you’re doing well!
I wanted to let you know I finally got a chance to try [insert restaurant name here] that you recommended. The [insert dish here] was delicious! I can’t wait to go back.
On another note, I loved your story [insert story name here] in [insert issue here]. It was [insert something you liked about the article here]. I hope things have been great at [insert company name here].
Would you be able to grab a quick coffee when I’m back in town? I’d love to pick your brain for some career advice if you have a minute.
All my best,
(Insert Your Name Here)
Something short and sweet, just reminding her of who you are and where your connection stems from. Reading a note like this will make your boss smile and remind her that you actually listened to everything she was saying. If you’re specifically looking to land a job in the fashion industry, sending your boss a “good luck” note leading up to fashion week can be a thoughtful gesture. These infrequent concise messages are the best way to stay in touch without over doing it.
Finally, when the end of your school year rolls around, feel free to shoot your boss another email to remind her you’re looking for a job (or another internship). Your past emails have left the door open to a message asking if she could give you some career advice when applying, or even pass your resume along. After keeping in touch for the past year, your message won’t feel out of the blue and insincere.
One more thing to remember: Fashion and media are tight-knit industries. Your network is bigger than you think, so reaching out to maintain a connection is one of the most important steps you can take to landing a job.
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director of MakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.