Networking Isn’t About Connecting, Following and Begging
I receive LinkedIn connection requests all the time. Not bad for a guy who works for himself! I have over 740 connections on LinkedIn and 7400 on Twitter. I could have more however I am kind of selective when it comes to accepting connections. I try not be a snob but with peddlers, phony accounts and moochers seeking to use you and your network – you have to be selective.
Human Resource Professionals, like myself and others have long since advised job seekers and business professional to network in order to get jobs. You have to network to get work. Social media has made networking easier – just get an account and connect away. But is that networking?
Networking, connecting and following are different things.
You can connect or follow someone for free and without really knowing the person. There is no investment in connecting or following – as said above – just create an account. So many people have the game “twisted” they think if they get an account that everyone will want to connect with them and offer them great jobs. Uhm, no – that’s not how It works, that’s not how any of this works.
HR professionals, Recruiters, Business Leaders are not accepting my LinkedIn requests and following me because I’m online. They have read something I have written on SmartRecruiters, Performance I Create, Work4Labs, eSkill, Equals6, CostofWork or here, the Resume Crusade.
Maybe they are connected to some of my various friends in HR and business. Maybe they have heard me speak here locally in Memphis or at TNSHRM13 in Nashville, OKHR14 in Tulsa, or LASHRM14 in Baton Rouge. Or maybe they were referred to me as a resume writer by one of my clients.
Maybe they have seen my work on Monster.com, Mashable.com or Oprah.com. Maybe they heard me on Tommy Tucker’s radio program in New Orleans or FreshStart with Rayanne Thorn, or Chris Russell’s CareerCloud Radio or Drive Thru HR.
Either way – it has nothing to do with me creating an account and sitting back passively waiting for connections.
Networking is about developing relationships that are or can be mutually beneficial. You have to give them a reason to want to connect with you. If you are connecting just so someone will give you a job and you have nothing to offer them in return – then you aren’t doing it right.
Get out and make real connections with people – there are plenty of networking opportunities in your town. See how you can volunteer or contribute to an organization and make yourself more valuable and desirable. Don’t just take the position of “here I am, connect with me” say “here I am, I am doing these great things and maybe we can work together.” Do something more!
All relationships are better when each party brings something to the table.