The moment you will realize how working a room uncovers several job opportunities is when you would learn the importance of having a strong and professional network. According to a recent article in New York Times, using referrals to land jobs has become more common than before these days. A lot of companies now rely more on their current employees to assist them in the hiring process of the new ones as this saves them money and time. And failing to have a good network or few networking mistakes can actually put a stop to your employment prospects, especially if you find yourself in job market with zero contacts or references.

professional networking mistakes to avoid

It is easier to find jobs when you have established professional connections. However, there are some networking mistakes than could prevent you from getting hired. There is absolutely no room for any error when it comes down to a good job position. So, take a looking at the following networking mistakes that much be avoided at all costs:

Common Networking Mistakes – How to Avoid Them:

1. Expecting Too Much At An Early Stage:

It would be foolish of you to ask right away for what you actually want from a networking contact. Always remember that you must give before you expect something in return. You must take out some time to learn more about the contact and see what you can do to help that person. This would be an early stage to think what he can provide you in return of your services or skills. Your aim here should just be to make strong connections and increase your network so that you can ask for any favor when you need at a later time.

2. Limiting Yourself To A Particular Circle Of Contacts:

There comes a time in life when you need to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to those who can be beneficial for you. But for this, you must learn to expand your network and include several professionals belonging to different experience levels and working backgrounds, and not just your colleagues. The best tip would be to look outside your particular organization for potential networking contacts; who knows where you meet the right connection.

3. Not Maintaining Good Relationships With The Contacts:

So you have met a good connection and exchanged your business cards with him but what next? The biggest mistake you could ever make is to meet a strong networking person and then not staying in touch with him. Although networking with the connections is a time consuming task, it is also worth the effort if you want the best for your career. Try your best to follow-up with your colleagues or mentors at least once a month through a call or an email. Also, keep your network updated regarding your career path, and discuss relevant information and articles to share good opportunities with them.

4. Forgetting To Send Thank You Emails:

It is common courtesy to thank anyone who has talked to you nicely or given you a favor. People often overlook the importance of manners when it comes to meeting the professionals but such an attitude does not take you anywhere. In the corporate world, nobody has a lot of time on their hands to discuss about your career goals or help you land good job opportunities. But if someone has actually taken out time to attend an event with you and speak with you regarding your career, then you must show your manners here and send him a thank you letter or email.

5. Selling Yourself At Every Opportunity In An Obvious Manner:

The most irritating thing that you can do is to overly sell yourself to important networks at events. Not only it does not look nice and gives an impression of desperation but it also irritates the other person to the point that he wishes to run away. Never launch into your sales pitch as soon as you see strong contacts, and do not even think about thrusting your business card within seconds of your conversation with them. The most advisable approach would be to treat the discussion like a regular one and get to know them first. Throw some interesting questions their way, and focus on them rather than explaining your opinions and career interests to them.

6. Arriving Unprepared At Important Networking Events:

You must have, at all costs, well-printed copies of your business cards, updates resumes and on top of everything, a good attitude. You should not look like you have just came out of your bed with that wrinkly shirt and unironed pant. Also, make sure you wear a good dress pant and not a rugged or faded jeans. The most advisable thing is to have a rehearsed act prepared for marketing yourself to the recruiters. Again, there is no need to overly sell yourself but you must practice your pitch for the event where you think there will be plenty of strong networking connections.

7. Collecting Business Cards Only And Not Networking:

It is great to talk to everyone when you arrive at a potentially strong networking event but you need to narrow down the most important contacts. You cannot simply roam around talking to one group of people and then switching to another group after every ten minutes. The basic idea here is not to do chit-chat but maintain good relationships with networking professionals. Do not just speak to them once and collect their business card. Instead, work on bonding effective connections with them that would help you with your career in the future. You can also go through the list of who is attending the event before your arrival. This way, you can predetermine who you would allocate your time most to.

Look out for the above mentioned mistakes and make sure you are not repeating them. Networking is a strong tool that should be used at the right time for the right job, especially when you find everyone competing for the exact same position as you’re applying for.

Author Bio: Eileen Burton is a media and advertising consultant with years of leadership experience. Currently, she’s consulting a group of assignment writers at assignment valley. When not consulting, she loves to immerse in her favorite activity, i.e., blogging on leadership and entrepreneur topics.