Avoid Online Networking Mistakes during Your Job Search
Online networking — that is, meeting and interacting with other professionals via the Internet — is a relatively new thing. If you think about it, people have had millions of years to figure out how to interact with each other in person without being annoying. Whether you’re networking with people on LinkedIn, commenting on a blog, or chatting more casually on Facebook, follow these guidelines to be sure you don’t annoy people:
Don’t ignore the unspoken rules of the network you’re using. For example, LinkedIn is a professional network, so don’t share private information on it. Also, Facebook posts can be more casual, so don’t be too formal in how you write.
Don’t spam. People are already bombarded with too much information these days. If you start interacting with someone too frequently, you may just annoy him or her. If someone doesn’t get back to you right away, wait at least a week before following up.
Don’t shout. Using ALL CAPS in your online interactions is like shouting. No one likes to be shouted at.
Don’t beg. Networking isn’t about you; it’s about them. Never come across as desperate. Instead, show your passion and offer to help.
Don’t be generic. The worst thing you can say on someone’s blog is, Nice post. Instead, try being a bit more thoughtful by arguing with a point, calling out an example that applies to your life, or providing a quote.
Don’t just add someone to your network without an explanation. Although doing so is acceptable on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook connections deserve to get a reminder from you about how you met and why you want to connect. To avoid an awkward situation, consider sending a message first before asking for a connection.