How are your networking skills? You may think you’re hitting it out of the park at every networking event you attend, but you could really be undermining your efforts. If you find yourself committing any or all of these seven networking mistakes, it’s high time to reconsider your networking approach.
1. Forgetting your business cards
The conversation went well. You see a potentially mutually beneficial relationship in the works. So you pull a gum wrapper out of your pocket and start jotting down your information. Big NO. Invest in yourself and your business contact; and get some business cards before you hit this point. As technology has made it much easier to exchange contact information, you could think that business cards are now outdated – but they are still relevant in 2023, and indeed very recommendable. You can switch and use them in a digital format instead if you prefer.
2. Monopolizing everyone’s time
This can apply whether you’re meeting in person or online. If you’re at a networking event, then everyone else is there to, yes, you guessed it, network. You’re not the only one looking for advice or information. Be considerate of not only those around you but also the person you’re talking to. When you connect online, be aware that their life doesn’t revolve around meeting you. They have a life and a job as well.
3. Waiting until it’s too late
If you’re waiting to establish contacts until you need them, then it’s too late. By the time you need them badly, you don’t have the time to get quality ones. Plus, you’ll come off as desperate, a quality you don’t want to be exhibiting. Start building your network now, so that when you need them, you’ll be able to access those people immediately.
4. Dressing down
If you’re at an event where you know you have the potential to connect with people and make good contacts, dress accordingly, even if it’s a more casual affair. If, for example, a picnic is part of the occasion, it’s crucial not to resort to wearing a stained t-shirt and worn-out jeans. This interaction could be the key to securing the job you’ve eagerly awaited. Therefore, it’s vital to approach the opportunity with the appropriate level of professionalism and respect.
5. Coming unprepared
Know what you need and how to get it. Ensure that you don’t fumble or struggle through conversations due to a lack of clarity about your objectives and intentions. Additionally, do your research. Know the individuals who are coming and how they like to connect with people. Do your research and be prepared to show your intelligence.
6. Not following up
You may tell yourself that you would never do this, but many people never actually follow up on contacts. It’s a critical mistake, whether they think they don’t need the contact or they get paralyzed by ‘what-ifs’, this is a huge mistake. You went through all the trouble of meeting the person, putting yourself out there, and maybe even getting an offer of help. Even if you only had a good conversation, follow up by email or phone and let them know you appreciate the conversation and their time. This will also help them to remember you for longer than a week.
7. Forgetting to send a thank-you
This can be accompanied by your follow-up, and should be present when you and the other person part ways. Thanking someone for their time is a standard courtesy that many people forget. Rise above the crowd and send a thank-you along with your follow-up. Let them know that you really did appreciate their time because it is valuable.
If you avoid these 7 networking mistakes, you’ll have stronger, better network relationships. Evaluate your networking abilities right now. Is there anything you need to change? If so, do it! It’s never too late to start networking like a pro.
About Allen Recruitment
We are a team of expert recruitment consultants with offices in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium and Poland, providing recruitment solutions and job opportunities all over Europe. We have great experience in placing candidates in the right roles for some of Europe’s largest brands.
Posted in: Job Seeking Resources