Bad Naked

April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm 6 comments


“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 

net·work·ing (-wʉrkiŋ)


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?



Entry filed under: business, Job Hunting, Networking. Tags: , , , , , .

Taking it off to get the job Excuse Me Job Seekers, Please “Mind your P’s & Q’s” and Thank you…

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. audrey613  |  April 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Hi, Heather,

    This exactly fits in with my blog. I would love to use it, this week or later whatever works for you. I also thought the post on playing down your resume for certain positions was great, so let me know which one works for you.

    And I so agree with this post. I have been asked (only rarely) for a recommendation from people I have never met or even emailed before. Just from accepting an invitation to connect on Linkedin. And one of those people didn’t even have a last name.

    Audrey Chernoff

  • 2. humanresourcespufnstuf  |  April 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Heather, great post. I am a very active networker, and thankfully, the issues that you described above have been few and far between. I’ve seen an increase in third party recruiters spamming me for job reqs, but I have yet to be hit up for money (my profile, must make me appear suffeciently impoverished).

  • 3. bad naked business networking | Cube Rules  |  May 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

    […] But it is much more fun to see some ways to do business networking wrong. My friend Heather Gardner has a seriously great article on how not to do business networking — Bad Naked. […]

  • […] Bad Naked (Heather Gardner’s Recruiting Bloggity Blog) […]

  • […] I should have thanked Joe for giving me the idea to write the post Bad Naked after that.  But instead I dumped him from my LinkedIn contacts for fear he’d try to abuse […]

  • 6. car4dave  |  June 2, 2009 at 12:20 am

    wow, this was a very good blog :o) found it on list when I googled your name.. was too lazy to go to bing LOL :o)


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