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Networking tips

Advice for Young Talent on writing that all important email, asking questions and getting the most out of new connections.

If you have been introduced to a member of our network through the Wish List, read this useful guidance before taking your next steps!

A young woman gestures with her hands as she speaks to a woman holding a paper cup.
Pair talking at a mentor introduction event in Manchester. Photo: Emma Pilkington

Keeping safe

Read our full safety guidance in the Young Talent Code of Conduct.

  • Do not share your phone number or personal information including social media or your home address with people you don't know well.
  • If you are meeting online, only use Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype - not WhatsApp or Facetime.
  • If you are meeting in person, make sure it is in a public place, for example a café or library. Do not meet someone in their home and they should not be going to your home.
  • If you are under 18, your mentor should be cc'd into all emails and be on all video calls.
  • If you are under 18 and you meet in person, your mentor should always be present.
  • If you are over 18, it is your responsibility to ensure you network in the safest way possible.
  • Make sure you are following Covid-19 guidance if you are meeting in person.

Be brave - always follow up with the introduction

It's perfectly normal to feel nervous but never leave the other person hanging! If you have changed your mind, send an email like this:

"Thank you for the introduction. I have been exploring my options and have decided I am more interested in ___ but thank you so much for your time"

Writing the first email

Don't be overly formal or too casual. Something like this works well:

"Hi ___ how are you? My name is ___ and I am currently doing ___. I am interested in ___. I am hoping to learn more about ___.

If you are under 18, keep your mentor cc'd in this email. Ask them, or us, for help writing the first email if you need.

During the meeting

Make a plan for your meeting and write questions down so you can refer to them during the conversation. If you are on a video call, make sure you're somewhere quiet if possible. Remember you don't need to impress anyone, just be yourself and chat as you normally would! Don't forget that if you are under 18, your mentor should be in this meeting.

We expect all Young Talent to adhere to our code of conduct when meeting network members.

Asking questions

Don't be shy! This person has already agreed to answer your questions. Think about what you want from the conversation. Do you want their opinion? Do you need information? Use open questions starting with 'who”, “what”, “where”, “when” and “how”. Avoid personal questions around sexuality, religion, politics etc. if they are not relevant to your discussion.

Ending the conversation

At the end of the meeting or email conversation, thank them for their time.

If you are under 18, you can not stay in touch without your mentor present or cc'ed into emails.

If you are over 18 and the contact was helpful, ask if you can stay in touch and follow up with them later. A good way to end the conversation is to ask if there is anyone else they think you should speak to.

Reflection

If you've been connected with a member of our Network we'd love to hear about what you've gained from the experience. Please use our short Connection Report form to tell us how it went!