Print

Career Advice >> Browse Articles >> Networking

Rate

13 Networking Mistakes

Dan Woog and Zac Frank

1. Waiting

Networking is not an altruistic endeavor. You may want a job, but a contact wants something in return. If you start networking when you start looking for a new job, you’re probably too late. Potential contacts will think, “Why should I help you? You’re just looking for a job. What’s in it for me?”

Effective networking means creating contacts and relationships while you’re still happily employed. When you make a new contact, think of what you might be able to provide them. Is it a business idea? A partnership? Valuable news? Establishing a relationship while you’re not looking for a job will also make your contacts that much more valuable. Everytime you meet someone new in a professional capacity, get her contact info. The day after meeting, send an e-mail to continue the conversation.

Are you too late for that strategy? Don’t worry. Just change your approach to networking while you look for work (and pay close attention to the rest of these tips). Look at networking contacts not as job resources, but as mentors who can give you advice on improving your professional skills and give you job search ideas. If you create a relationship on those terms, it is more likely that a contact will be proactive in helping you find work.

2. Being Clueless