In a world of “how-tos” and “life hacks,” sometimes we need to explicitly hear what not to do. When it comes to networking, there are some things we need to avoid in order to make the mot professional impression possible. Here is a look at some networking don’ts when interacting online, at events and with professionals you have known for a while.
Social Network Connections

  • Use canned messages: When you’re adding a connection on LinkedIn, you’re given a message template – delete it and write your own! A personal touch will never go remiss.
  • Forget to post: You get out of social media what you put into it. Make time regularly to share industry updates, new trends and comment on your network’s posts. You’ll build credibility as a professional and deepen your relationships with your network.
  • Carelessly post: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper! You wouldn’t want your professional connections to see your party pictures!

Networking Events

  • Speak to only one person: If you’re having a great conversation with somebody, by all means, continue! However, don’t forget about the other potential great conversations in the room.
  • Overlook your elevator speech: Your 30-second elevator speech about yourself is your first impression. Make sure you take it seriously and have it prepared.
  • Ignore your nonverbal communication: Facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, postures and gestures are even more important when you’re first meeting somebody! Click here to learn how to scrub up your nonverbal communication.
  • Get drunk: This should be a given, but if there is an open bar, enjoy responsibly.
  • Forget to follow up: A networking event is not a one-and-done thing. Follow up with the new connections you made and keep the conversation going in the future. You never know where this new connection will lead you, but you won’t find out if your let it fizzle!

Long-Time Connections

  • Fail to routinely check in: You need to always be nurturing professional relationships, regardless of how many years you’ve known the individual. Set up reminders in your calendar to check in with these connections. Instead of routine LinkedIn messages, maybe grab a coffee!
  • Miss an opportunity to grow your network: Take your professional network to the next level by meeting your long-time connections’ colleagues. The broader your network is, the more professional opportunities will pop up!

Regardless of where you are in your career, networking should be a priority. Make the best of it by remembering what not to do!
Have any additional networking don’ts? Please share in the comments section!