Avoiding Common Networking Mistakes

Avoid Common Networking Mistakes


The adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know” has never been truer. According to Forbes, the “hidden job market” consists of 70% to 80% of all available jobs. This means that networking is crucial.

But, don’t just walk around and thrust a copy of your resume into the hands of everyone you know. Make sure that you invest in quality networking skills.

Check out these 9 Dos and 3 Don’ts of Networking

DON’T ask if they’ve heard of any openings

Or say, “let me know if you hear of anything”. If they are not aware of any openings, they will likely feel like they’ve let you down. (Is that really the way youwant your contacts to feel?) This approach is very limiting and puts pressure on your contacts.

DO prepare and frequently use a 30-second commercial

Let others know you are exploring new opportunities! Then brainstorm with them for advice, information, and referrals.

DO proactively share past accomplishments with networking contacts.

They need to know you were effective to feel comfortable referring you to their friends and colleagues. You don’t want to sound like you are bragging, so try introducing your accomplishments with words like, “Something that was fun/challenging about my job was ….” (Also, include select accomplishments on LinkedIn.com and other social networking sites.)

DO identify and proactively mention target companies.

You never know who has a cousin or friend that might work at your target  organizations. Name dropping is a great way to stir up those surprising connections.

DO use strategic questions to solicit meaningful information and advice from your contacts

Stay in touch and in the top of their mind. If you do, they will automatically think to tell you if they hear of an opening.

DON’T force feed your resume to anyone

Or ask anyone to distribute copies. Contacts will feel like you’ve transferred the burden of your job search to them. If they are interested in seeing or distributing your resume, they will ask.

Also remember that it’s always best to cusomize your resume for each job application

DO build a solid business profile on LinkedIn.com

Personalize your LinkedIn URL and include that URL as part of your automated email signature. It’s like providing a link to your resume with every email you send.

DO find reasons to leave your house and engage with others face-to-face.

When someone asks “How’s your job going?” reply confidently, “Actually, I’m exploring making a change right now. I’ve spent the bulk of my recent career in …” and share the rest of your [30-second commercial].

DON’T say “Please call me” when you leave voice mail messages.

That puts another to-do item on the list of your already busy networking contact. Instead, keep the follow-up ball in your court. Close with “Since I’m missing you, I’ll try again later this week. If you want to reach me earlier, feel free to call me at 999-999-9999.”

Do utilize email, but understand that many people are overloaded with emails.

If you need information or advice, consider sending an email outlining what you are seeking and then closing with, “I’ll try to connect with you by phone in the coming days”.

DO utilize LinkedIn and other social networking sites, but also set up face-to-face meetings whenever possible.

A face-to-face meeting is a more effective way to build relationships needed to enlist
the help of others in your job search.

DO set specific, measurable networking goals to propel your job search forward.

Example: “I will keep making calls today until I set up three face-to-face networking meetings for next week.”

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Career Development Partners

Career Development Partners is here to provide solutions and impact lives. We do this by serving others by being good stewards of all that is entrusted to our care. CDP strives to have a positive influence on all who we come in contact with and to serve our market with relevant talent management services: Search, leadership development, career transition and practical retirement coaching. Our team has a combined total of over 300 years in Human Resources and Recruiting. We believe that ‘People are Worth the Investment.’

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