Networking is the key to finding a great job, but things happen. It might be months or even years since you were in touch with a former boss or coworker. The Muse shows us how to handle this situation gracefully. Photo by Sean MacEntee.
The most important advice is to be upfront with your potential reference: Say something like you've done a terrible job of keeping in touch (without going overboard with your apology) and get to the point of why you're reaching out, that is, you're hoping he or she will vouch for you as a reference.
It's good to hear the encouragement that inconsistent contact isn't the end of the world:
Keeping in touch with all of our connections all the time would be networking nirvana. But it's not a realistic expectation. Instead of beating yourself up because you aren't sure you "deserve the reference," remind yourself that people are busy and it's unlikely this contact is going to scoff when he sees your name pop up in his inbox.
For more steps on reconnecting with your long-lost manager, check out the article below.