By Lisa Parker

Today I’ve got to talk about Diane…not her real name.

Diane is a wonderful woman with a solid professional background. I met her recently at a networking event. I sat beside her, actually. She immediately struck me as professional, smart and kind. During that meeting I was impressed enough to suggest she contact a company I might be able to help her gain some traction with.

Shortly after that meeting, Diane did the right thing and followed-up with me so she could figure out the best way to move forward with my suggestion. Her call landed in my voice mail. When I played her message, her introduction made me want to weep.

“Hi Lisa. You probably don’t remember me. This is Diane. I met you at the (blank) group…” Probably don’t remember her?!?! How could I not remember her? She sat right beside me…3 days prior. We had a conversation.

So here is this fabulous woman who either doubts  my memory capabilities or, as I suspect is the real problem, doesn’t value herself enough to believe she’s memorable.

Diane is hardly alone. I get the same type of lead-in on emails and voice mail messages frequently. So many of the job seekers I encounter are struggling to believe they could possibly matter to others. This economy has done a number on the egos of countless professionals. The trouble is, once individuals convince themselves they aren’t valuable to others, they are susceptible to having those thoughts affect their actions. They pull back on applying for jobs that seem out of reach. They refrain from reaching out to people in influential circles because they are concerned about wasting those individuals’ time.

Perhaps Diane’s choice of words was a one time slip. Hard to say. What I want her to know is that I do indeed remember her. The impression she gave me from the start was solid. If she has any doubt in her mind that people she meets will hold on to the fact they did so, she can stomp on it. It doesn’t belong in her job search. She can skip the “you may not remember me” with the next person she follows up with.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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