Career Advice >> Browse Articles >> Networking


13 Worst Networking Mistakes

13 Worst Networking Mistakes

Dan Woog | Monster Contributing Writer

7. Monopolizing Someone’s Time

At a networking event, everyone wants to mingle. And if you’re networking over the phone or by email, understand that the person you’re speaking with has a life that extends beyond you.

8. Dressing Down

Look sharp at networking events. Mind your manners, shake hands firmly, stand up straight, make eye contact and show respect in any way you can. A networking event can be a dress rehearsal for a job interview, but no one will help you get your foot in the door if you give the impression that you’ll slouch through it once it’s open.

9. Being a Wallflower

Men and women with contacts and power meet many people; they remember only those who stand out from the crowd. Be assertive, and act like a leader. But don’t go overboard. You want to convey self-assurance, not obnoxiousness.

10. Being Passive

If someone says, “Sorry, we don’t have anything right now,” take a minute or two to ask follow-up questions: “Well, what’s the outlook for future possibilities? Do you know anyone else in the industry who might have something? Any thoughts on what my next step should be?” Persistence shows true interest on your part and may help the person you’re networking with come up with ideas he might otherwise overlook.

11. Lying

It’s tempting to say, “So-and-So gave me your name and told me to call.” It might even get you a meeting. But eventually Such-and-Such will learn that So-and-So did not tell you to call. And you’ll have burned not one, but two bridges.

12. Treating Your Networking Relationships as Short-Term Flings

No one likes to be used. Follow up every conversation with a thank-you note, email or call. Let your contact know whether his suggestions panned out or not. When your job search ends — for whatever reason — inform the person who has helped you. You may think your networking is over, but your paths may cross again.

13. Forgetting Where You Came From

Anyone who has ever networked, whether successfully or not, owes an obligation to all those who will network in the future. Return the favor and help someone else.