The word “etiquette” admittedly sounds rather Victorian. Online and offline etiquette do’s and don’ts have changed over time. However, getting that dream job and growing your brand and your business can be dramatically influenced by networking etiquette “rules” you may not even be aware of.
The Golden Rules of Networking Etiquette
- Be polite.
- Assume anything you post online will be there forever.
Your Actions are Your Brand
All most people will ever know about you is how you act. Unmaking a bad impression isn’t something you want to have to do. This is true whether you’re online, on the phone or talking face-to-face. Celebrities have PR consultants and image teams. Your team consists of you. You are your brand.
The DON’Ts of Networking Etiquette
You’d be surprised how often people shoot themselves in the foot by rude and inconsiderate behavior. They probably know better.
Online Networking Netiquette
- When looking for a job, DON’T use an undisclosed recipient list. Recruiters and HR people will treat your resume as spam.
- DON’T bad mouth your old boss. In almost all circumstances, your negative comments about your former employer only reinforce the link between you and the ex-boss. Whether online or in person, the negativity will reflect badly on you.
- DON’T enter online discussions solely to promote yourself. You can promote yourself online, of course, but do so after contributing valuable information to the thread.
In Person or Phone Networking Etiquette
- Most kids are told this repeatedly, but sometimes adults forget. DON’T talk with your mouth full. People can tell and it’s considered rude.
- DON’T interrupt. Some people will tolerate it, others won’t. Breaking in when someone is speaking could cost you a job, a sale or a valuable contact.
- When networking (or in a business meeting or on a date), DON’T constantly check emails or texts. Whenever possible, leave your phone on vibrate. If you must answer an urgent call – and most calls aren’t truly urgent – excuse yourself and step away.
The DO’s of Networking Etiquette
Many tips apply both online and offline, but are particularly relevant at networking events.
- Always state or write your name and business. Don’t assume the other person knows who you are.
- Respect other people’s time. When networking, you’re essentially asking other people for favors. Acknowledge their time is valuable by coming to the point as quickly as possible.
- Be specific in your request. Don’t simply ask if they know anyone who is hiring, but if they know of any opportunities in your specific field.
- Always say “please” and “thank you.” If someone gives you a lead, even if it doesn’t work out, send a thank you note. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you’ll stand out from the crowd and be remembered positively.
- Pass favors on. Netiquette is a two-way street. If you never help anyone else, it will damage your reputation and brand eventually.
- Have business cards handy, but don’t pass them out at random. When you receive a card in return and will be following up or sending information, do so.
- Online, keep your personal and business personas separate. LinkedIn and Facebook security setting should be set appropriately for different categories (personal, professional, etc.)
- ALWAYS courteously acknowledge referrals, even if a particular referral is of no value.
Everyone at BXP Creative appreciates the value of your time. We’re not going to waste it by asking unnecessary questions, but will hone in on what we can do to help you.
We’ll be your creative team behind the scenes whether you want us to work with your in-house team or work independently on your project. We offer a broad range of marketing services at affordable prices.
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