It’s happened a few times recently.
Well-meaning and capable professionals are committing networking suicide in a desperate attempt to land a job.
Here’s The Skinny
I have received several broadcast emails where I’m among who knows how many people in the BCC line. The title is the person’s name or the type of job they are looking for. The body of the email is their resume and/or their resume is attached to the email.
I don’t know these people. My email address is all over the place and they may be subscribers to one of my newsletters, but I don’t know them from Adam, because they’ve never contacted me before this. They haven’t purchased any training from me, never asked me a question, never participated in a group discussion, never offered to help spread the word about pmStudent, etc.
And yet, implicit in this out-of-the-blue request is that I owe them something. As if because I’m on the interwebs trying to help people get started in project management that I have an obligation to spend hours on random requests from people who don’t care enough to even read what I’ve written or build a relationship with me over time.
People Who Don’t Know You Don’t Owe You Anything
I don’t have that obligation, and neither does anyone else getting spammed by someone who doesn’t know how to network effectively.
I have a button to click in my email client for this type of email. It’s called “Mark As Spam”.
The sad thing is, I know these people are well meaning and probably are spamming out of frustration and not knowing what to do. I’m busy just like everyone else however, which means if you haven’t built a relationship with me in some way, you are not going to get my attention.
As a matter of fact, when you get marked as a spammer in my email client I will likely never even see an email from you ever again.
Even with good intentions, you can still suck at networking.
Take Control By Doing It Right
You want to network in a way that achieves results. If not, why are you reading this?
So listen up.
Networking is about building and maintaining long-term professional relationships to the benefit of all parties involved.
That is how you build credibility with people in your network and earn their trust and respect to the point of getting referrals and recommendations.
This is how you create opportunities for yourself because people who know, like, and trust you are thinking of you when they see an opportunity.
This is how they know you well enough to be looking out for what will be a good fit for you in particular, even though you never asked them to.