Networking: We're *Still* Doing It Wrong

Networking: We're *Still* Doing It Wrong

Almost six  months ago, I wrote about the ways in which job seekers might be harming themselves when networking.  Granted, it was a very simple note....but in the intervening months, I've come across some other major faux pas.

So for this week's guest post, I'm going to focus on some further ways - both major and minor - that we can sabotage ourselves when job seeking.  These are mostly for your consideration, and names will be changed to protect the innocent...and the not-so-innocent.

  • Always Remember To Bring Business Cards - Admittedly, this is a minor one (and I've done it myself), but ever find yourself caught meeting someone, but not having your contact information? (Or worse, you're ready but they're scrambling to find their cards?) Running out is one thing, but always be sure to have a few business cards on hand, just in case.
  • Dismissing Other Job Seekers - Don't be in a rush to avoid other job seekers, because sharing leads can often lead to job search success. Besides, today's job seeker is tomorrow's potential reference.
  • Micromanaging Another Person's Networking Event - Recently, I had a fellow job seeker innocently remark that a particular event was better "at the venue we started at." (Admittedly, this was an regular event that was being revived). I have also had some younger colleagues remark that I "just had to schedule" an event on the day they could not make it. If you cannot make an event, simply choose another. You also have the ability to start your own networking event, and along those lines....
  • Use Meetup.com Strategically - If you're using Meetup.com to find groups, and then just attending hoping that an employer will "discover" you like Lana Turner...you will end up slightly disappointed. Use it to determine what contacts you wish to engage with, and then make an effort to engage them.
  • Proper Hygiene & Grooming Matter - Yes, trying to look good on a budget can be a challenge, but it's always a good idea when networking to look your best, even if all you're wearing is a polo shirt and khakis. And of course, showering, shampooing, and shaving are always good ideas before heading to an event.

Speaking of networking events, there are two events that I am organizing where I would welcome some new, fresh blood. One is free; the other there is a small charge, but I think both would be very helpful.

Please feel free to leave your comments below, and once again - thanks for reading!

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