Networking can present some new and unique situations, especially if you are looking for work. Andrew and Scott discuss the biggest mistakes to avoid when networking for jobs.
7 Mistakes To Avoid
- Talking About Yourself Non-Stop
- Not Asking Questions
- Not Talking About Yourself At All
- Not Asking For Referrals
- Introducing Your Resume
- Not Following Up
- Demanding Employment
Resources (including affiliate links)
Raw and Unedited Transcript
00:00:00 – 00:05:01
Jobseeker’s radio. I’m Andrew, and I’m Scott this production is meant to provide you meaningful support to find great careers faster. Whether you’re working or not today job seekers radio we talk about mistakes to avoid win networking, right? The first thing that I tell people is something I have done. In fact, I I want to preface this that all of these mistakes. We’re going to talk about today I’ve done and I have to both of us have. So I’m speaking from experience what not to do because it’s usually embarrassing once I’ve realized that this what I’ve done and the first thing that came to mind when the question came up was talking about myself nonstop networking should be a two way street. So if I’m doing the talking that becomes a problem, and they talk you’ll hear people talk about good communication is an eighty twenty. You do eighty percent listening and twenty percent talking. And then if you feel like it’s fifty. Fifty probably been talking too much. I’m not gonna argue with that. I don’t think the percentage is really important. But I find that my own style is one where I’m going to make connections that that’s where I go. I and so as I’m talking to someone and they say something resonates with me. I don’t take the time to really listen deeply to what they’re saying. And ask them questions to dive in. What I what I instinctively do is connect by saying, oh, I did the same thing or I had a similar experience or you know, I have this commonality, and it’s not because I’m trying to talk. It’s that I’m trying to connect. But that doesn’t always come across that way. Well in our insecurities come out to right. Oh, never do. Well, so here it is. You know, we’re talking about ourselves because we’re nervous were insecure. We don’t know what we should be saying if we haven’t done a lot of networking is really hard to not fill the air with something. Right something. What was most ourselves? So. Sometimes it just feels like you’re talking non stop and the other person just kind of tuning out, maybe even looking at their phone looking over their shoulder. So just recognize that, you know, when you’re talking too much when somebody just kinda glazes over and stops paying attention, and they’re not engaged in any kind of dialogue. Right. So what do you do when you find yourself in that situation? Ask questions. Yep. Yep. So I mean, that’s the second thing that we need to talk about his, hey, not asking questions is one of the biggest mistakes you can avoid when doing networking. Yes. And make sure that the questions that you ask actually make sense generally the best way to do that. As to ask a question based on what the other person just said, that’s the definition of deep listening. You’ll hear people talk about it as active listening, you want to allow at least for the time being the other person to guide the conversation, and you can do that by asking questions about. Oh, well, tell me more about that. Or how did that work out for you? Or, you know. What did you learn from that? And these are ways for that to keep them talking. But that you’re truly interested because you’re always listening to understand not just to reply course, that also leads to another mistake. And that is not talking about yourself at all. And that is huge for me. Because I always try to go in asking questions letting the other person talk so much that I feel like, wow, I had a great conversation. But what did I really achieve unless I have an objective for that conversation. Why am I there? And so I really think that this idea of asking questions is something that some people miss, but I asked so many questions that I never get a chance to say anything for myself, the meeting is over, and I didn’t get a chance to say anything I like the idea of approaching networking as having a purpose. Having a reason for going to this networking event or going to this networking coffee with an individual whatever it is that you’re doing you want this to be a. Two way street. If you’re asking only questions, you may come across as being an interrogator, and that’s just as bad as an over talker. How do you find the balance? Well, where there is commonality what I found to be a good practice for me is to go ahead and make that connection. Oh, I had a similar experience. When I did that. Now, I ask another question. Tell me more about your experience. Because once I’ve planted the seed that I’ve had something similar in my background. I’m hoping that the other person will ask me about it. And so we really can get that balance. If you’ve scheduled a meeting, and let’s say that meeting is twenty minutes in the first ten minutes you’ve done nothing, but ask questions of this person. You may want to look at the watch and say, hey, is it okay with you? If I share a little bit about me and what I’m trying to accomplish with this this. So really there’s an opportunity for you to pivot the conversation ear direction by asking permission. And I found that that’s a awesome way to put it is that hey, we talked about.
00:05:01 – 00:10:01
What about you? And I’m really I want support you in any way. Again, is it? Okay. If I share with you a little bit about me. So then I can pivot and start talking about myself. And that’s that’s something. I had to learn right. I was just about to say that may not feel natural the first time you try it. It probably won’t feel natural get used to it. It’s a really good way to shift a conversation. And what I’ve found is when you say when you ask the person can I share a little bit about myself. I have never heard them say, no, I have never had anyone say no start the conversation by getting a yes here, you have an opportunity to get a yes. The alignment the connection happens. It’s a really good tool. There are also those who talk about not, but and instead of saying, but in the middle of a sentence you say, and so you’re not negating what came before it. This is one of those skills. At that. Asking permission isn’t really what we’re taught as children as we grow up by mastering this. You will have a skill that will serve you in more than just networking. It will serve you throughout your career. And that brings us to the next mistake you should avoid and that is not asking for referrals have. So we talked about talking about herself too much not talking enough leaving time if you have an abbreviated amount of time make sure you leave time at the end to ask for referrals, right? And not doing that really is a waste of time. I mean, you just wait. Well, I don’t know if there’s a waste of time. You’re certainly having a dialogue or it may mean that you leverage another conversation. So at the end, you should have some sort of call to action or thing that you wanna have come out of it that you let them know about up front, right? So that you can say, hey, I appreciate your time. I was really looking for introductions to these kind of people at this kind of company or this specific write this comes back to the idea that we’ve talked about in the past. About always having a project to work on because everyone likes to give information and advice. Here’s an opportunity in terms of referrals. If you’re working on something that somehow relates to the kind of work that you do asking if they know someone who could give information or advice on that project is a way of getting referrals. It’s not necessarily. Hey, can you introduce me to somebody who’s hiring? It’s really about. How do I expand my network? How do I throw the net a little further? And so as I’m asking for more information on asking for advice on whatever it is. I’m working on people get charged up when they’re given an opportunity to provide that kind of input. If you’re really struggling on how to ask for a referral. That’s at simple, wait to try it out and referrals. Don’t need to be this big thing that you’re nervous about asking. Right. Again. It requires some kind of preparation practice. It’s not uncommon that we. Recommend people write down other questions in advance. Cause you may get into the fray, and you forget or your nervous. And you forget either way if you write them down in advance, you can say, hey, I know we talked around a lot of things I did write down some questions. Do you mind? If I look at these questions and make sure everything is right. It’s complete with our conversation, and people may be afraid that that may seem to canned or two constructed. Well, it also sends the message that you were looking forward to this conversation enough that you had the foresight to prepare for it that is a showing respect. So that you don’t wanna waste the other person’s time if it turns out the conversation has gone completely outside the scope of where you wanted to go. But it’s been a really good conversation. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to your point you may want to have another conversation with them at another time because maybe you have an established enough trust for them to give you anything that. Thank you very much. I appreciate the coffee. But right now, I think writing down questions and having them ready is a good idea. No matter the event that you’re going to whether it’s a group of aunt or just a one on one. It’s always a good idea to be prepared that brings us to the next mistake to in void. And that is introducing your resume. Please don’t give your resume at a networking event. It shows that you had an ulterior motive and that kills your credibility. If they’re truly interested in having your resume offer it after the fact get their business card their Email address, if they want to text message to them if you can attach the document on your phone, whatever don’t give them the resume when they ask at a networking event. I don’t trust somebody who comes in with that in mind because that means that I’m not sure why they were talking to me. Well, they were interested in their selves. I not interested.
00:10:01 – 00:15:01
A new Scott, right? Sorry. Don’t do it. Stay away. It’s a huge mistake. And I’ve done it before. And I’ve had it done to me. And it just takes the conversation from something that’s organic authentic benefit for both parties to something that you don’t want it to be remember to the idea that people shut down when you ask them if they know about who’s hiring or where the jobs are because we want to help other people when we don’t have an answer to that question. Now, I’m afraid now, which is almost always. Yeah, they almost always never plugged into an opportunity, right, especially if they’re a friend or coworker or something former co they might not even be in a position to hire any bright. And they may be a company that they are not allowed to have these conversations without some kind of process, right? Because maybe it’s highly regulated or number of other reasons, please please do not take your resume to of networking event or a one on one. Offer it after the fact it gives you an opportunity to follow up, which as I say every time follow up is the most important step of any process. Don’t give it at the event. That’s actually the next mistake. Not following us. Right. I’ve seen this. So mean, even today this happened to me, I introduced somebody who’s fairly influential in a target company. And I had to ask the guy for the feedback in the follow up. Like what happened I introduced this person? So really you’re ever think of it this way when you’re networking, you’re building reputation, and you want that reputation to be yours not by accident. And when you’re not following up with somebody you’re building a reputation that what I gave you or the contribution. I made to you was not worthy. You’re letting other people write the story. Follow up is going to serve you. Well, every single time it is necessary to know, whether or not your efforts have actually landed if you just let things lie. By then maybe you’ll see something good. Maybe you won’t. But you won’t know what effect you actually had. And when that happens. I know personally if someone is working with me, and they just disappear. I think less of that individual not, you know, on a human level. I’m they still deserve happiness. Do I really want to invest in that happiness? Why don’t forget to follow up all ways follow whatever that looks like just make sure you do it. Right. You know, a phone call an Email, a thank you card, whatever that looks like just do it. And don’t let how long does it take to send? It doesn’t take anything. Right. If you have the Email address for heaven’s sake. Send them. Thank you that brings us to the next mistake to avoid which is demanding employment. Not uncommon that people came to me through all line posting, right? They see a job that’s posted. They see I’m working at the company and the go full court press on me saying, hey. Can you put me in for this job? Can you recommend me for this job, can please? Please, please. Yes. Now, if it’s a really good friend of mine than of known for a long time that I trust could do this job. Well, that’s okay. That person has already established the trust. If he or she were to come to me and say, hey, I saw this at your company can you please put into good word. Of course. I’m going to most of the time these kinds of requests come in to people that may be I talked to three years ago. And we connect on Lincoln. I’m not going to feel as comfortable with that. Now. I may say, yes, I’ll introduce you to the recruiter, but I’m not going to feel as comfortable giving recommendation about you. If I can’t make a credible recommendation. The demand of employment may not be give me this job. If I’m at a networking event, especially and but it could be just in casual conversation. And I find out that this person somehow has a connection to the job. For me to press at all. I find inappropriate it comes across as demand. Even if that isn’t my language, I think is doubly a mistake when you actually tell somebody you’re just interested in meeting for informal conversation. And then they show up and say, hey, I’m looking for a job. Can you help me up in having a dialogue with somebody? I’m now in the employment category. Where I just don’t know what to do. And I’m asking you to fill in the blanks for me coming unprepared and all those things and coming to a networking event. Unprepared. Almost as bad as coming to an interview. Unprepared. It means that you didn’t value this interaction. Well, if you didn’t value it enough to do the homework. Why are you asking for my time? Now with that said if it’s just a networking conversation. It’s just a conversation. Keep it just a conversation allow the employment opportunity to happen naturally. And if it doesn’t then when you are asking for the referrals.
00:15:01 – 00:16:20
Maybe you come up and say, you know, we we’ve talked on this. This isn’t the purpose of my meeting with you. But I am looking for a job. And and what you’ve said actually resonated. I’m wondering perhaps at some point. We might be able to talk about that. And then let them pursue it or not to come in and just suddenly pivot to your job search it. It kills your credibility. Well that does it for this episode of job seekers radio. You can find all the show notes in resources in this episode job seekers radio dot com forward slash zero three nine we have a free resource for you as well. In the show notes to look at downloading the anatomy of network king conversation. It’s an e book that Andrew I’ve put together we hope enjoy it. We thank you for joining us during this episode of job seekers radio, your investment of time and attention is immeasurably appreciated, right? Head over to itunes and subscribe to future episodes. And while you’re there, we’d be really. Gratefully? If you provide a a rate and review for us. It helps us to spread the word, but we also want to hear back if there’s something you want us to talk about if there’s something that we could do better for you. We wanna know about it lime Andrew, and I’m Scott until next time. It may be mad now, but it will get better take care everybody.