Worst Professional Networking Mistakes
The simple mistakes you are making are ruining the networking connections vital to your business. For some, creating relationships comes naturally, for the rest of us, these suggestions may help.
Professional Networking MistakesLearn from these mistakes and discover an easy fix for every one of these situations. However, as some common mistakes have been observed to be worse than others, making any of these mistakes may damage your image. Make yourself aware of these cringe-worthy mistakes so that you may more successfully manage your networking contacts to build your career.
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Networking Mistakes You Should Avoid
- It's All About You
When you are talking to other people it can be tempting to explain everything about yourself to them in great detail, but you have to take an interest in the work of other people too. A networking contact is like any other kind of relationship you both must share your experiences equally.
Another major mistake that people often make is to have an arrogant attitude. To present yourself with an arrogant demeanor is an instant turn off to people. Additionally, most of the people you will be talking to are more advanced in their careers. It would be best if you were listening more and talking less so you can learn from them.
- Not Projecting Your Self-Worth
If you are at a networking event, you are not going to be the only one there. So make yourself someone to remember by providing a concise summary of how and why you are an asset to the company for which you work. Your job during these events is to market yourself to companies and make yourself the most desired and sought-after talent.
- Forgetting to Follow Up
The whole point of this process is to build connections with others in your field, so if you meet people and never speak with them again, that defeats the purpose. After the event, gather all the business cards you have collected and get to work following up with these professionals.
Please make contact with them on a personal level, send them a note and write something in it that will assure they will remember you. For example, including something you said or joked about in your personalized letter should get the contact's attention.
- Not Narrowing Down Contacts
Talking with many people is great, but you need to have meaningful connections with other professionals. The idea is to form relationships, not speak with them once and get their business cards for your collection.
Narrow down whom you will speak with at an event so you may spend more time with people who can provide you with the most value in building your career. If possible, search for who will be attending the event before your arrival and predetermine to whom you will allocate your time.
- Forgetting the Real World
Social networking platforms on the internet are excellent and efficient tools, but you cannot rely on them solely to advance your career. It would be best if you met with your contacts in-person and spoke with them. Even a simple phone call means more than an online nudge. When the contact sees that you have made the effort to reach out to them on a personal level, they will remember that you did that.
Although speaking in-person is ideal, it is understandable that today's world has a large online presence. With that said, make sure that you have a professional-sounding email because this will be someone's first impression of you.
- Being Unprepared
You must arrive at your networking event with copies of your resume, some business cards, and a positive attitude. You should also dress professionally and be prepared to answer any questions they ask about you. To avoid the worst of these professional networking mistakes, think about each meeting as a sales pitch where you promote yourself. You can have a rehearsed act prepared to market yourself to these individuals. If you practice your pitch before the event, you may be less nervous about meeting with them.
- Forgetting Your Manners
Always thank the new contacts that you have met after the event by sending them a thank you email. These individuals took time out of their day to attend an event and speak with you about your career goals. It would be best if you showed some gratitude for the time they have given you. Send a thank-you email or letter 24 hours after your meeting, you can write one using our Free Thank You Letter Creator.