Networking is at the heart of any job search and vital to advancing your career. If you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, don’t give up yet. Ritika Trikha has five ways you may be getting it all wrong and suggestions on how to get it right.
- Asking too many questions. You don’t want to send a message full of questions to someone you don’t know. It’s overwhelming and off-putting. In your first message, just send your most important question, then if she writes back you can send some follow-ups.
- Avoiding LinkedIn’s “introduce” feature. This feature helps you get beyond your first-degree connections and meet those in the second and third tiers. Having an existing connection vouch for you is a great way to meet new people who could help your career.
- Aiming too high. Unless you’re an executive yourself, you shouldn’t limit your online networking to executives. You’ll get better results if you try to connect with a mix of people at your level and above.
- Inquiring about a job straight out. Asking for a job at first contact is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. Networking takes time and patience. Start out general and discuss your career in general, and don’t forget to bring something to the table to benefit your new contact.
- Applying a generic template to every message. A stiff, standard form letter isn’t going to get anyone’s attention. Show yourself in your writing, and craft a personalized message to each prospective contact.
— Adapted from “5 Reasons Your Online Networking Efforts Aren’t Working,” Ritika Trikha, U.S. News & World Report.