Networking

Don’t make these 8 networking mistakes

You might feel like you can do it all, even when networking.

Robert Half Management Resources research recently showed where executives go wrong when they network — CFOs report that “not asking for help” is the most popular error this group makes, at 30%.

Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, commented on the research in a statement, showing why reaching out is important.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help… We all need guidance from time to time, and people are usually happy to offer support when they can… Business is changing so rapidly, no one has all the answers or expects others to. Executives need a robust network, including mentors, peers, staff-level contacts, and experts from within and outside the company, to stay on top of trends, best practices and opportunities. To accomplish this, make sure you serve as a resource for your connections, too.”

An independent research firm carried out the survey of more than 2,200 CFOs at in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

It’s about more than requesting help

“Failing to keep in touch or reaching out only when they need something” was in second place at 23%. Next up was not linking up with “the right people,” at 19%.

Both failing to thank people when they are of service to you and not being a resource for other people were tied at 14%.

Beware of these other networking errors

Steer clear of these.

Don’t emphasize how little you know the person

You don’t have to do this in networking emails.

So focus on the common ground you share instead of reminding the person how you’re not as close as you could be.

After all, every word counts.

Don’t act like ‘it’s all about me, me, me’

How would you feel if someone did this to you?

Diane Kulseth writes in The Muse that “talking about yourself — all the time” is not a good idea, and that instead, you should “take some interest.”

“Stop highlighting your latest accomplishment and start listening instead. Find people with industries or careers of interest to you, and ask them questions: How did they get their start? What do they love about their jobs, and what do they wish they could change? By taking an interest in your contact, you will make her feel valued — and hopefully interested in continuing the relationship. And you’ll likely gain some new insights, too,” she writes.

Really put your time in at events

You might feel like you’re done after talking in-depth with two people in person, but you never know who else could be in the room, or how you could be of service to each other.

Tim Tyrell-Smith, author and founder of site Tim’s Strategy, writes in U.S. News & World Report that you should “arrive early and stay late” when you go to a face-to-face networking gathering for the first time.

“You can see many benefits to this tip. First, you won’t be late. That means you can relax, find the room, and scope out the layout,” he writes. “Second, you can connect first with the speaker (if there is one) and the event leadership, introducing yourself and perhaps getting a few tips on who will be there. Finally, staying late allows you to maximize your time away from home. After all, you already took the time to get dressed and drive over. Why not stay awhile?”

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