Developing Your Career

Developing Your Career

Five Networking Blunders That Will Derail Your Job Search

By Greg Simpson on April 24, 2014

When conducting a job search you need to use your network to get the word out and gather information about possible job opportunities.  However, a lack of networking etiquette can stall your search efforts, leaving you on the networking sidelines.  Here are five of the most common networking blunders:

  1. Pressing for a job.  Networking isn’t about asking someone for a job.   Use your network to engage in informal discussions to gather information, referrals, advice and counsel.
  2. Only networking when you need something.  Even in good times, you should make time for regular networking —offering assistance, sharing information, responding to requests, offering advice, attending professional meetings.  By doing so you’re perfectly positioned when you enter a job search.
  3. Making cold calls.  Get a referral before reaching out to someone.  Tap into professional associations, alumni groups and social networks for introductions.  “Warm” calls will net better results—and are much less stressful.
  4. Making it all about you.  Networking is based on building relationships through the exchange of information.  During a networking discussion, you should listen more than you talk.  Have a concise list of questions and a list of targeted companies to keep the conversation on track.
  5. Failing to follow up. Follow up with networking partners to let them know if you connected with their referrals.  Also keep them in the loop about your career and/or job search activities.

Networking is all about developing relationships—and the nurturing of these relationships requires professionalism, discretion and generosity —while keeping your search efforts on track.

 

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