Networking can uncover hidden job opportunities, as long as you are willing to take networking tips to heart and avoid some common errors. Mistakes are easy to make, especially for those who are out of practice.
Professional Networking Tips – and Mistakes to Avoid
Here are several common networking missteps to avoid and professional networking tips you can use to strengthen your connections:
- Limiting your circle of contacts – Expand your network to include professionals at varying experience levels, not just your peers. Also look outside your industry for potential contacts.
- Overlooking new venues – Networking isn't just for business occasions. Make an effort to meet new contacts at social gatherings, and always carry business cards with you.
- Having a hidden agenda – Be upfront about the assistance you seek and prepare a quick pitch to support it. Others will appreciate your candor and be better able to help you.
- Being overly aggressive – While it's important to communicate regularly with people in your network, avoid becoming a disruption. This is one of the most important professional networking tips to remember because your contacts will quickly ignore your requests if you become too overbearing.
- Failing to write down pertinent information – After meeting a new contact, jot down a few notes about your conversation so you can reference these details in the future.
- Lacking appreciation – Always let people know you value their help. A simple thank-you note or email is appropriate.
By observing these networking tips, you will give yourself the best chance at making valuable contacts who can help you make additional connections, provide insight and advice throughout your career, and even point you toward your next job.