We’re almost at January, and if you aspire to be an NFL scout someday, it’s an invaluable month given the multiple opportunities to get out and make contacts among NFL scouts. Here’s what I’ll be telling the interns at the College Gridiron Showcase next month who are dying to be the next generation of NFL evaluators.

Make sure you have a business card: I know business cards are so 80s, but the fact is, you can impart a lot of info in a highly mobile format if you’ve got ’em. Don’t be ashamed of using both sides if you need to. Also don’t be ashamed of making your own if aren’t with a school or organization right now.

Set a goal of 50 business cards collected in the first quarter of 2022: This could just as easily be contacts, i.e., people who work in your field whose cell and email you’ve gathered somehow, hopefully by standing in front of them and spending at least a few seconds in conversation.

Update your resume, then email it to yourself: If someone asks for your resume, you don’t want to delay. If you have it in your inbox on your phone, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to send it.

Reach out to every person whose contact you get: This has to be prompt. If you meet someone at the Senior Bowl, for example, make sure you reach out to them with a brief text or email by the middle of February. You want them to remember who the message is coming from. Even after 20 years in the business, I meet dozens of people in January as I travel from game to game, and I can’t always remember the faces of the people whose numbers and emails I collect. Make sure you don’t give anyone a chance to forget who you are.

Realize the job search is already under way: Every April, I get questions from some of my friends saying, should I start sending out my resume now? By April, most teams have already decided who they are going to interview. When we had NFL scouting directors on earlier this month, and they were asked when they started looking at possible hires, most of them said they never stop. I realize July and August are bad times to be sending out your resume, but now, in late December, isn’t a bad time.

Don’t be a pest: I know this is a fine line, and I know you have to be persistent, but if you are constantly bombing people with your info, you’re going to make them pretty numb to your constant entreaties. Map out a schedule of when you send, when you plan to follow up and how many times, and when enough is enough.

Good luck! I hope everyone who reads this winds up in the league, and I look forward to working with you. For more tips and information of this sort, make sure to check our our weekly newsletter, the Friday Wrap. You can register for it here.