6 Networking Mistakes You Should Avoid

  | 4 min read
networking mistakes

It is  a common practice for companies to rely on referrals when hiring new employees. Internal employees  refer new hires in order to help the company save time and money. In this case, you can leverage on getting a job opportunity  using networks that you have established with someone from an organization you are eyeing. For this to be effective, you need to optimize your contacts and avoid some common networking mistakes that might block you from landing the  job you want. Here are some of the networking mistakes to avoid:

1. Forget to Make Follow Ups

Forget to Make Follow Ups

Failing to follow up with your connections is not only a wrong move but also counterproductive. It is up to you to follow-up with your contacts to keep your relationship and build a stronger network. If you meet up at an event and promise to call or send an email, make sure you do just that. Contact them a few times a month by calling, sending an email or schedule a meeting to catch up. Ensure you do not sound rude or annoy them by going overboard with too many emails or missed calls.    

2. Expecting Quick Results

A lot of people will feel the need to network only when looking for a new job. With a desire to get a new job immediately, you may be tempted to pitch your needs right-away. This may make you network feel like you are only using them for your needs. To have an effective networking relationship, you should start connecting and build relationships while you’re still employed so that it doesn’t appear to be a one sided relationship. . ind ways of  pitching ideas that could benefit your network as well in an effort to build a great connection.

3. Neglecting a Face to Face Meeting

Neglecting a Face to Face Meeting

Another common mistake most people do is depending entirely on online networking. It’s not enough having a connection on email conversations or professional social channels  then wait for a recommendation from your network. Make them feel and see you as more than just an online friend for effective connection. Schedule possible meetups and introduce yourself to them.  This will have a better chance of leading you to a hiring manager.

4. Lack of Professionalism

Treating your connection unprofessionally may make them think you are not serious or suitable for an opportunity that might arise. From dressing inappropriately to unprofessional email addresses and signatures, most people fail to keep a professional image of themselves both online and offline. Spend enough time improving your professional look including the dressing code during meetups, your email address, professional social media profiles such as LinkedIn and so forth. Use your real names on your email address and ensure you proofread before sending them.

5. Being Unprepared and Unspecific

Being Unprepared and Unspecific

It doesn’t matter how many network connections you have, if they don’t understand what you do, it won’t work.  People in your network want you to be specific about skills and talents that you have. If you are hoping to get  job referrals, you need to be specific about what you can do. Ensure they understand specifically who you are and what  you can offer so that they can recommend you for a job you are suitable to do..

6. Taking without Giving

Networking is meant to be a give-and-take relationship. You should not consider networking as an opportunity to only get help , but also giving out your expertise when needed. Research on ways you can benefit them and the reputation of being helpful will make your network be keen to help you in return.

Remember ‘your network is your net worth’.Do you have any networking failures you have encountered? Please share with us on the comment section below.

Mustapha Mosha
Mustapha Ally is a Community Marketing Manager at Zoom Tanzania and BrighterMonday Tanzania. He loves digital marketing social media