Networking Mistakes to Avoid

by A Guest Author

According to, networking is all about building relationships and not about selling yourself. For most people, the idea of working a room is a little overwhelming, and it can seem daunting to simply shake someone’s hand and introduce yourself at a big event. However, the Internet can minimize any self-consciousness, and it can make your networking possibilities seem endless.

It’s an excellent tool, if it’s used correctly and appropriately. However, networking via the net can be a minefield. It may seem easy to just add a bunch of random contacts from LinkedIn, or to advertise the fact that you’re job hunting on Facebook, but there’s more to it than that. It’s important to remember that networking is not about how many people you know or what they can do for you. Here are some common mistakes that people make, and how to avoid them.

1. Savoring Selfishness

Networking is about giving, and not taking. According to, you need to always focus on what you can give a contact, and not what they can do for you. If you come across as genuinely helpful, you will build meaningful and beneficial networking contacts. However, if it’s clear that you’re only looking after your own hide, you’ll run into brick walls. Networking should always be a two-way street. It’s an almost universal law; if you put your immediate needs aside and selflessly assist someone else, they will almost always reciprocate.

2. Losing on LinkedIn

Many people think that they simply need to sign up on LinkedIn, and the contacts will start a comin’. Not so, unfortunately. Instead you should start with a complete profile: add recommendations, a photo, your work experience and qualifications. Your profile also needs to be up-to-date, and you should keep your profile active by updating feeds with recent achievements, training, or links to your blog/company website. You should also remember to make your profile SEO friendly, by using relevant keywords. That way, you’ll pop up in Google searches.

Deciding which groups to join can be a nightmare, but suggests you at least join your alumni and industry groups. Many people think that adding random contacts will help their networking. It won’t. You should know your contacts in real-life, or at least know someone who knows them.

3. Messing up on manners

Lots of people forget to say, “Thank you” after a contact has helped them out. When you’re networking, you need to make an effort to always be polite. Your contacts will appreciate your courtesy and gratitude, and it will make them more willing to help you out the next time. The Harvard Business Review suggests that you e-mail a contact (or, even better, send a hand-written note!) after they have given you advice, or pointed you in the right direction. You should also keep in touch; send links to interesting industry articles, or just e-mail to see how they’re doing.

Networking isn’t easy, but you can do it successfully. Helping others first, being polite, and using the Internet effectively can improve your networking prospects. Don’t just network for the sake of it, put some effort into it, and you will reap the rewards. These may not be immediate, but a little patience will definitely pay off in the long run, as you will be able to forge meaningful and beneficial relationships.

About the Author

This guest post was written by Ang Lloyd on behalf of Skilled Migrant Jobs. Ang is establishing herself as a freelance writer. Skilled Migrant Jobs is a niche job site that helps immigrants to Australia find sponsorship jobs.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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