Networking: Friends Lost But Not Forgotten

Auld Lang SyneShould old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve there is a tradition in America, started in 1929 by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians during their New Year’s Eve broadcasts from the Waldorf Astoria, to sing this Scottish poem/folk song as we countdown the old year and bring in the new. The song begins by posing a rhetorical question, is it right that old times be forgotten, and is intended for us to remember friendships that have gone by the wayside over time.

The sentiment of the poem is prescient and especially for job seekers at this time of year. Sometimes “when you’re down and out and feeling small” (thank you Simon & Garfunkel) as the holiday season gets into full swing you need to look back at your glory days to remind yourself how successful you were in the past, and how sooner or later you will return to where you rightfully belong. Hopefully this will help you refocus on the task at hand and what you need to do to get back on top.

Moreover, I suggest that starting today you heed the poem’s clarion call and start to remember past relationships; the long-standing and the newer ones as well.

This is the time of year when it is common to reestablish lost relationships and reacquaint yourself with people from your past; and one of these people just might be the person who will furnish you with the lead or introduction you’re eagerly waiting.

So here are some suggestions:

1: If you’re not already on LinkedIn, sign up today! Next make sure your profile is fully completed and you upload a picture (headshot preferred) that conveys the proper professional image you want to make.

2: Then spend 2-3 hours a day (or more) on LinkedIn for the next 3 weeks looking for people, companies and jobs.  Set a goal to find 10 people a day you knew but lost contact with and send them a personalized invite to link up. It can not be generic, and should also include a request on how you can help them.

3: At the same time find at least 2 people every day on LinkedIn who know you well enough to recommend you. You can start with the people you are connected to and then find new people. Set a goal of 20 recommendations between today and January 1, 2012.

4: Look up companies on LinkedIn and see who works or worked there and connect with them as well.

5: This year start a Hallmark or a free online card account and send everyone you have an email address for a personalized Seasons Greeting card by December 15th at the latest. Then follow up with them if they don’t contact you first.

6: Now here is an idea, and I can not take credit for it, that is really neat. A few months ago I was invited to join a Facebook group begun by one of my fellow HS classmates for members of our graduating class. I barely remember Steven but I do keep in touch with Diane who sent me the link to join. He limited membership to only students in our graduating class since we had over 1,200 students in our senior class.

You may want to start such a group for you HS and college graduation class, and if you went to a smaller school expand it to include students from the year before and after you graduated; these are usually people who you knew quite well. Use Facebook, LinkedIn and your online school alumni directory to find people to join. Send out invites and ask people you invite to reach out to fellow classmates they are still in touch with, or those they knew fairly well back in the day.

Once the group is going start networking. Ask people to discuss what they have done since graduation, what they do for a living now and how the group can help them if they are looking for a job. The rest will evolve naturally, and in our group we have at least 25 new postings every day, and a lot of friendships have been revived.


Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at, and email him your resume at for FREE resume critique.

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