Agreed, people should not be judged on what they wear because it has no influence on what the person can and cannot do. Let’s face it, looks matter to some extent. When going to a networking event or an informational interview, do not dress down. I want you to think of the networking you are doing as a potential foot in the door, your chance to make a first impression!
Sometimes we dismiss people, but the person we are dismissing could be an excellent match for us. One rule us at NetworkIt believes is any situation is a networking situation. Any place is a place to build a connection- being on the bus, hopping on a plane, in line at a coffee shop, all networking opportunities. By being polite, not being closed off and maybe even saying hello or talking about the new muffin they have here, you may open the door to a new connection. Not dismissing people may allow for a lot of possible opportunities, maybe for you or maybe for them!
ME, ME, ME!!
Networking can really help in your job search. However, remember it is not always about you. One great network technique is not speaking to people with the thought of how they can help you, but how can you help them? Being engaged, asking questions, and maybe offering your skills to help them solve a problem can help you build the connection. The goal is to create lasting mutual beneficial relationships, and you can do that by being less into you, and more into them! Not Being Prepared Are you going to an event to listen to a speaker, to learn about companies, to just meet people, either way be prepared. Research the speaker, the companies, have your sales pitch ready- who you are, what you do. Showing up not prepared, really showcases something about you. Being prepared also means having your business cards ready to go, place them somewhere easy to access. We never know who we will meet or what opportunities will arise, having an idea about your audience will allow you to impress!
Not Following Through
We have all done this at some point- “I will call you”, but you never did. Life happens. However, if you miss a date, follow up anyway. One of the major aspects that can really annoy other people is people not following up. If you say you are going to email, do so, if you say you are going to call try your hardest to do it! Not only does it show your ability to follow through on what you say, it shows you are true to your word. A great skill to have!
Being Very Pushy
Being pushy when networking is an excellent way to make no connections. People want to have discussions, learn about you, talk about themselves and find what you may have in common. When you rush into discussions, push ideas you appear aggressive. You showcase an image, and the image we hope to have when networking is open to discussions, meeting people and building relationships. Not acting as a salesman, hunting people during the event. Seriously, don’t do it!
Networking is a great opportunity to build relationships, learn about not only opportunities but about people and their experiences. According to LinkedIn 85% of jobs are found through networking. With that big number, don’t underestimate the next potential discussion you can have, you never know what can happen!