“Bad Naked” is Networking that is just plain WRONG.
It never ceases to amaze me at what people deem as “networking”. It is perplexing at how many people try ineffective approaches and expect amazing well nurtured results. It ain’t gonna work honey, not on me.
Here are a few of my stories:
1. Networking isn’t cold calling:
I have been approached by people for the VERY first time solicited my business. I might not know them from Adam, but they think trying to “sell” me to use their services, buy their drink or some other ridiculous product. I don’t mean to be rude, but trying to sell me something when I have no clue who you are isn’t “networking.
2. Networking isn’t asking me for my rolodex:
Gosh, this one had me in stitches earlier this week. Earlier this week I accepted a unsolicited LinkedIn Invitation from a guy in my 2nd degree. I always try to write a little note back to say “thank you” and that I’m always happy to professionally network with them which I did in this case. This guy proceeded to send me a LONG note back requesting contact company and names for folks in my network that he could solicit for his business – yes, I’ll edit his note and further blog on it next week for you. This was our first contact, a LinkedIn invitation. Sure I could have given him names and numbers, but this would be like sleeping with someone on the first date! Not effective networking, rude.
3. Networking isn’t spamming your network:
I can’t believe how many people do this. If you are well respected and people join your mailing list, this is appropriate. I subscribe to many feeds put out by professionals in my network. They all respect the rule of only mass emailing to people who have signed up to do so. Spamming your network with emails isn’t cool, get permission first and don’t call it “networking”.
4. Networking isn’t asking for money:
I can’t stand the mass emails from people with something like this:
“Hey valued LinkedIn or Ning network. I don’t reach out to any of you nearly enough or know you by first name, but give me money for this or that. Here’s what I’m doing and it’s a great cause and I really need it so here’s the link to send money now (insert hyper link to donate site). If you don’t want further emails requesting money I’ll take you off the list – but you can expect a few more emails from me begging for money before I actually remove you. ”
Huh, this isn’t effective networking.
5. Networking isn’t calling someone you don’t know and asking them for a job:
You should call people that are hiring and ask to be considered for a position that they are recruiting or hiring for. BUT, don’t call it networking if it’s the first time you have ever spoken with the person – it’s called “cold calling”. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great thing to do, but term it right.
Here’s a simple definition for networking that I found here:
1. the developing of contacts or exchanging of information with others in an informal network, as to further a career.
I encourage everyone to continually be “networking” into their next position, employed right now or not. But remember it takes building relationships over time and adding value to them. You can quickly destroy an opportunity by ineffectiveness. Your reputation is everything and a first impression of “rude” won’t be easily forgotten.
So, how do you look NAKED?
April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm
Last year I was contacted by a mid level manager for job search advice. Let’s call him Joe Jetson.
Joe’s plea for dialog with someone on the inside was compelling. He sounded desperate for help. I could tell right off the bat that he was talented and highly experienced, just down on his luck. I called Joe direct for a chat.
Joe needed insight from an internal recruiter on how he could improve his resume to catch the hiring manager’s attention and get him an interview. He was looking for an opportunity to be considered for any marketing role.
For the past few years Joe had been working in various marketing roles, generally at the director level or above. He could run any department and execute all marketing compaigns with great success. But Joe wasn’t getting any interviews for the jobs he was applying to. None at all.
Joe had found plenty of openings for marketing manager and below, but despite his amazing cover letter he couldn’t seem to get that face to face. It was discouraging to this man with so much experience and talent. All Joe wanted was a chance to work in marketing no matter the level.
It was clear when I reviewed his resume and cover letter that Joe’s background and capabilities screamed “VP”. Why on earth would a director of marketing want to hire him for their manager opening? Joe would end up taking the director’s job someday and move up the ranks. It just wouldn’t happen.
My advice to Joe was to tone it down. Have several resumes ready to send that would hilight his experience and background for each role he was going for. I know it sounds like a lot of work to have several different resumes, but so is the lengthy job search. What doesn’t make sense to a perspective employer is why a VP of Marketing would want the admin role.
Don’t be uncomfortable to craft several hot versions of your resume. You have to feel comfortable taking on the roles you are applying to and if you can’t accurately state them on the resume you submit you can forget getting an interview. It’s going to show in your correspondance.
Remember, the resume is just to get your foot in the door – you will need to sell yourself during the interview. If you appear “over qualified” you might be missing out on some great opportunities just because of job titles.
My advice to those currently looking and not getting the interviews they’d like to take a lot at their first impressions. A poorly crafted resume may not be working and it might be time to hire that career coach or professional resume writer. I’m happy to recommend a few good ones in my own personal network.
Don’t be afraid to take it off, you might just be surprised how liberating letting go of a title can be.
What have you taken off in order to get the job?
April 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm