Common Networking Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them) in Job Searching

Common Networking Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them) in Job Searching

Networking is an essential aspect of job searching. It’s a way of building professional relationships, learning from each other, and finding job opportunities. However, many job seekers make mistakes that can hurt their chances of finding a job through networking. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common networking mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Clear Goal

One common mistake job seekers make is not having a clear goal in mind when networking. Networking without a specific goal can be a waste of time and energy. It’s important to know what you want to achieve through networking. Do you want to learn about a particular industry? Meet hiring managers? Get referrals? Once you have a clear goal, you can create a networking strategy that will help you achieve it.

Mistake #2: Being Too Passive

Another mistake job seekers make is being too passive when networking. They attend networking events, collect business cards, and never follow up. Networking is not just about attending events, it’s about building relationships. After meeting someone at an event, follow up with them within 24-48 hours. Connect with them on LinkedIn and schedule a coffee or lunch meeting. Being proactive in your networking efforts will increase your chances of finding job opportunities.

Mistake #3: Being Too Salesy

No one wants to feel like they’re being sold to. One common mistake job seekers make is being too salesy when networking. They talk about themselves and their accomplishments without taking the time to get to know the other person. Networking is not about selling yourself, it’s about building relationships. Focus on getting to know the person you’re networking with. Ask questions about their career, goals, and interests. Building a relationship first will make it easier to ask for help when you need it.

Mistake #4: Not Following Up

Following up is essential in networking. It’s a way to keep the relationship going and stay top of mind with your connections. Many job seekers make the mistake of not following up after meeting someone. They collect business cards, add them to LinkedIn, and never follow up. Following up can be as simple as sending a thank you email after a meeting or sharing an article you think might be of interest. Staying in touch with your connections will increase your chances of finding job opportunities.

Mistake #5: Not Offering Value

Networking is a two-way street. It’s not just about what you can get from the other person, it’s also about what you can offer. Many job seekers make the mistake of not offering value to their connections. They focus solely on their needs and wants without considering the other person’s. When networking, think about what you can offer. Can you introduce them to someone in your network? Can you share your expertise on a particular topic? Adding value to your connections will strengthen the relationship and make it more likely that they will be willing to help you when you need it.

Mistake #6: Not Being Authentic

Finally, being authentic is essential in networking. Many job seekers make the mistake of putting on a façade and not being true to themselves when networking. Authenticity is what makes relationships strong. When networking, be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Focus on building real relationships with people who share similar interests and goals. Being authentic will help you build trust with your connections and increase the chances of finding job opportunities.

In conclusion, networking is essential in job searching. However, it’s important to avoid common networking mistakes that can hurt your chances of finding a job. Having a clear goal, being proactive, not being too salesy, following up, offering value, and being authentic are all important aspects of successful networking. By avoiding these common networking mistakes, you can build strong professional relationships and increase your chances of finding job opportunities.