Career Tips -
Supersonic Searching Mondays
Written by Abby Kohut
While many of strive for perfection in our job search and in our networking, we occasionally fall short of perfection. The key is to learn where changes can be made quickly to improve our odds of success.
Here are the 10 Deadly Sins of Networking:
- Do not go to networking event with a negative attitude. Instead, put on a smile and think positively about all the wonderful opportunities that could be in store for you. If you've had a bad day, you might want to pass on going to the event.
- Don't have a "what can you do for me attitude". Building a network requires helping others first so they'll feel good about helping you.
- Do not forget to bring business cards. Do not bring stained cards or folded cards. Business cards are just one of the many ways that you make an impression on other people. Do not make the event just about handing out business cards. Don't hand someone your business card until after you've taken the time to get to know at least a little bit about him or her.
- Do not go to a networking event expecting someone to offer you a job. Instead, expect that you will make some great connections which may lead you to other connections, and so on, until you find that lead that lands you a job.
- If you use LinkedIn to network and you ask to be introduced, don't ask to be "recommended" if you don't know the person referring you. Rather, ask for a "referral".
- When asking for referrals, don't ask the same people to help you all the time. Keep networking so that you have more people who you can ask for referrals.
- Don't call your former managers only when you need something. Keep in touch with them on LinkedIn or Facebook so that when you need a recommendation they do not feel taken advantage of.
- Do not tell someone you are going to follow up if you're not planning to. As soon as you can, write on the back of his/her card what action you agreed to take. Develop the habit of doing all your follow-up within 24 hours of the event - any longer and it's easy to forget what you've learned about your connections.
- Do not assume that just going to an event is networking because 90% of networking is what happens AFTER the event is over… when you go out for coffee to learn more about the people that you felt a common connection with.
And the worst sin of them all…
- As a good friend of mine always says, Networking is Not Just for Not Working. Do not network ONLY when you are searching for a job. You should be keeping your network current all year round. Join networking groups in your field or industry to keep up with the news in your professional community.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
The good thing about these sins is that you can ultimately be forgiven if you change your ways. The first way to repent is to start "paying it forward". Call old networking contacts you have lost touch with and ask them how they are followed by a question on how you can help them achieve their goals. Helping others be successful is the first major step towards forming a strong, lifelong network.