Maybe it’s someone you met at a party, or a friend of a friend, or the guy who just moved in down the street. You’re talking, you mention what you do, and the next thing you know, you’ve been invited to send the person your resume.
You’re excited, but unsure about the logistics: Do you send a formal cover letter, even though the contact didn’t ask for one? If not, what kind of note do you send? Will the contact even remember asking you for this?
Here’s what you should do:
Here’s a sample of what your note might look like:
It was great talking to you at the Millers’ barbecue!
You asked me to send you my resume, and it’s attached here. As you’ll see, I have a track record of helping companies figure out how they can most effectively use social media, with a particular emphasis on increasing online traffic. Most recently, I helped Acme increase the number of eyeballs on their online properties by 72 percent over a year.
I took a look at your website and liked what I saw, and I’d love to talk more with you about possibilities for working together.
In other words, be conversational and direct. And don’t stress over it too much—your contact already initiated the opening, and you’re simply taking that ball and moving it a bit further down the court.
Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development. She now teaches other managers how to manage for results.