5 Huge Networking Mistakes

You know one of my inspirations for blog posts is RecruitingBlogs.com.  They have tons of great stuff.

The post that inspired today’s writing is by James Nathan, titled The Biggest Referral Mistakes – The 5 most common things NOT to do!

James is talking to recruiters about networking and passive referrals (or, word of mouth to grow his business).  Each of his five points are critical for YOU, as a job seeker.

1. Failing to ask.  So often we don’t ask for help, introductions, referrals, etc.  Sometimes we are too shy, sometimes we assume our contacts know what we need and they’ll offer it when they are ready. Both are horrible reasons to not ask.  Check out one of my all-time favorite blog posts I’ve written: Job Seeker Success: Simply ASK!

2. Asking at the wrong time.  James says it’s all about timing.  So true.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been approached for something that I would have been fine talking about, but NOT THEN!  Later!    Asking at the wrong time shows you might be insensitive, make bad judgement, be desperate, etc.

3. Not defining a good referral. As job seekers we often give someone minimal info, like “I’m looking for a job.”  Sometimes we might say in what city or state, but usually it’s just not enough information.  Ask for a specific introduction, like “I’m looking for an introduction (NOT A JOB) to someone who works at XYX company.  Do you know anyone?”  The more precise you can get (within reason) the better your referrals will be.

4. Sending out the wrong message. This is really about personal branding.  What is your value proposition? Who are you?  If your contact doesn’t have a good referral right now, that’s okay.  Make sure they know how they can help in the future.  That is, make sure they think of you when they here a need for (insert job title here).

5. Failing to differentiate.  This is not as critical for recruiting firms, I thought.  But then I thought perhaps it is.  If you are a (insert job title here), how are you different than the 12 other (same job title)s that I saw last week?  What’s special about you?  Again, this is about your brand and value proposition.

Great post, read the original here.

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