How to Reach out to a Really Old Contact — and Make a Positive Impression

According to Statista.com, 87% of LinkedIn users have over 101 connections, and one-quarter of all users have between 500 and 999 connections.

That may seem like plenty of people to have in your network. But connecting online means all kinds of caveats, such as accepting requests from strangers. Moreover, even if you knew all 100, or 500, or even 900 people at one point, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to stay in touch with everyone.

It’s more realistic to think about the general types of people you need in your network and then remain in contact with a few in each group: some people on your holiday card list, some you see at industry events, some you go to for advice. Then accept that the rest, one year grew to two years and two years grew to five (or more).

But now, suddenly, that person you knew way back when is relevant. Maybe a classmate you haven’t seen since graduation works at your dream company. Maybe your first boss is the best person to ask about a work dilemma or possibly, someone you interned with is your only contact in a new city. You can (and should) reach out to these old connections — rather than start from scratch — just go about it the right way. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

 

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