13 Worst Networking Mistakes
Dan Woog | Monster Contributing Writer
You wouldn’t wear jeans to a job interview, but do you pay as much attention to job-hunting etiquette when networking? If you’re approaching potential contacts in an offhand way, you may be putting them off entirely. Learn what the most common networking mistakes are so you don’t have to make them.
Many people start networking only after they’ve lost their jobs. Effective networking means creating contacts and relationships while you’re still employed.
2. Being Clueless
If you’re heading to a networking event, make sure you know why you’re going. Do you want a job? If so, are you seeking something specific, or will anything do? Are you looking for contacts or a mentor to provide guidance? As soon as someone starts talking with you, you have to hold up your end of the conversation. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t do that.
3. Being Unprepared
Thinking you know what you want is not the same as knowing it. Treat networking the same way you would an appearance at Carnegie Hall. Practice your pitch as well as your answers to questions about your career goals that might arise.
4. Forgetting Business Cards
There is nothing more embarrassing than establishing a good relationship with someone, extracting a pledge of help and then searching around for a cocktail napkin to write on. Spend a few extra bucks to print professional-looking cards on good-quality paper.
5. Using a Silly-Sounding Email Name
Sure, your friends know you as “SexyMama4U” or “TimeForHemp,” but when looking for work, stick to a serious email address, such as your real name.
6. Being Pompous
While you’re networking, you need to listen to what everyone else is saying. People help by offering advice. They are not interested in hearing how much you already know.