While looking for job opportunities, you often need to turn to your friends for referrals or approach recruiters for current openings. Although I’m now in the role of discovering peoples’ expertise and matching them to suitable positions, I used to play on the job seeker side, asking friends and recruiters for job opportunities.
Playing on both sides of these roles exposed me to various situations and enabled me to understand both ways of thinking. While seeking jobs, I actively contacted recruiters but rarely got responses. I was disappointed and wondered why most of them did not reply. Working as a recruiter, I now understand there are some messages you just don’t know how to respond to.
To help you get better results in your job search progress, I’d like to share 4 mistakes you should avoid when networking for job opportunities.
Mistake 1: Using Abbreviations in Your Messages
I’m not talking about chatting with friends. This situation would be the first time you reach out to a professional recruiter whom you don’t personally know.
You may have connections in common, but it would be very improper if you sent a message with several shortened words. A candidate approached me once, texting me after speaking over the phone about a senior developer opportunity. The following message was what I read:
“It was nice taking (talking) to u, and I saw LinkedIn u know abt my friend xx, could I know abt the xx position more information from u. Thx.”
Of course, I appreciated his proactive follow-up, but it would have been better if he professionally edited the message.
Mistake 2: Write Your Whole Life Story
After graduating from university, I spent at least 5 hours per day applying for job opportunities. Every time I applied, I tried to find the recruiter’s contact information and send them emails or InMails to express my interest further. However, I was too eager to present myself at that time and did not realize that I put too much in one message, which no one would even bother to read.
I am trying to say that it doesn’t matter if you are a new graduate or an experienced professional, DO NOT write too much in your email pitch. Greeting, intention, gratitude, contact info – they make a simple and perfect email pitch.
Mistake 3: Contact Without Intention
This is the opposite problem. Working on the other side of the employment market, I’m now the person who receives pitch messages.
Sometimes I receive “how are you” messages – they are a good start, but perhaps you can send me a few more words, so I know what you are approaching me about.
Sometimes I receive “hey, check my profile and find me a job” messages – thanks for inviting, but do you mind sharing a little bit more about your specialties or what positions you are looking for?
The worst incident was when a candidate wrote an entire article describing what happened to their family but didn’t even mention a word about the positions he was interested in.
The solution? Send a greeting, write your intention, show gratitude, give your contact info, and attach a resume if necessary.
Mistake 4: Send Your Resume with a Blank Email Body
Opinions may vary in this scenario. Sometimes I receive referral emails from friends. The referrer introduced a candidate in his email with a copy of the resume they are forwarding. In the forwarded email, there is nothing in the email body other than the attachment.
I wouldn’t think it’s proper to send a blank email to your referrer. After all, this person is helping you find a job, so at the very least, you should write a “thank you.”
Furthermore, the referrer merely passes the information on for you, so it is better that you write a brief summary about yourself and the job opportunities you are looking for. It can save your referrer’s time and allow your them to introduce you properly.
Be sure not to make these 4 mistakes when networking for future job opportunities. Avoiding them may help you land the position you’ve always wanted.