Networking often feels awkward, and can sometimes backfire, even with the best of intentions. Add to it the awkwardness and limitations of a pandemic, and you’ve got yourself a potential epic fail.
We’ve all failed at least once in our networking strategies. This week, I want to provide some tips to help you try some new and different approaches to avoid an epic fail.
Stay tuned for next week when I share some out-of-the-box interview tips!
Successful networking strategies
One of the most successful strategies is to spend more time doing it! Job seekers should spend 80% of their job search networking and only 20% actually applying to job ads. However, most job seekers have this reversed.
But to be successful, you also have to understand the etiquette involved in networking. Check out these previous posts for five tips most people fail to implement.
1. Avoid appearing desperate on LinkedIn
Every job seeker knows it’s important to be on LinkedIn, but they don’t know how to keep from looking desperate. Recruiters can detect desperation just from a job seeker’s profile, and will steer clear.
Click here to learn how to avoid looking desperate on LinkedIn.
2. Create a more inviting elevator pitch
An elevator pitch, created from the same old cookie-cutter approach, will make your listener want to pitch themselves down an elevator shaft!
Instead, click here to try a more inviting and less annoying approach.
3. Don’t ask, “Can I pick your brain?”
Leading your networking conversation with this common question can quickly result in an epic fail.
For a lot of professionals, this question is a trigger. To them, it’s code for, “I want to take from you your years of knowledge, advice, or contacts, without giving anything in return.”
This is not a good way to start off on the right foot.
But good news! There are appropriate ways to start a conversation with a potential new contact. Click here to learn how to do so using proper etiquette.
4. Become a good networking contact yourself
Instead of just trying to find good networking contacts, you might also have better luck by serving as a good contact yourself.
To learn five ways you can give back and contribute more to your networking relationships, click here.
5. Protect yourself from toxic professional relationships
You’ve probably heard the popular networking advice, “Never burn a bridge.” But I also say, “Never stay standing on a bridge someone else has lit a match to.”
While it’s important to maintain good networking relationships, you should also protect yourself from the toxic ones. Especially if they could hurt your other professional relationships.
Click here to learn how to recognize toxic relationships in your professional circles.
Never Say Never: How to Know When You Should Let a Bridge Burn
- Blog post: “Are Your Job Search Strategies Not Working for You?“
- Blog post: “Is Your Resume Not Working?“
- Blog post: “Do You Need to Improve Your Interview Skills?“
- Book: Secrets to Networking With Ease
- Video course: The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively