You can do yourself huge favors by networking, and this time of year with so many holiday parties, gatherings and get togethers, many opportunities may arise for job seekers. But you have to network the right way. Going about it the wrong way can do more harm than good, so we compiled a list of some tips that will hopefully get you called in for an interview instead of being called a dud.
- It’s not all about you — If you’re doing all the talking, you’re networking wrong. It should be about exchanging information that’s relevant to both parties, not just reciting the fascinating history of your life.
- Pay attention — Don’t just smile, nod your head and occasionally throw in a “mmm-hmm” while you discreetly (or not so discreetly) look for someone better to talk to. Listen, pay attention, ask questions and contribute to the conversation.
- Controversial – Giving your opinion about controversial issues to people you don’t really know but who could hold the future of your career in their hands could ruin any chance you might have.
- Take a card – Just passing out your business card is NOT networking.
- Little white lie – Don’t make up a connection or tell someone that “so and so told me I should introduce myself” if it isn’t true and you’re just trying to make approaching someone a little easier. Those types of fibs can come back to haunt you.
- Bad mood – Even if your job hunt is frustrating or you’re unhappy at your current job, you shouldn’t let others know that. No one will want to talk to you if you’re in a bad mood, and they’re definitely not going to want to hire you.
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