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Networking: Is My Personality Killing My Chances?

Networking: Is My Personality Killing My Chances?

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Have you ever been to a networking event and thought, “Is my personality killing my chances?”

RELATED: 7 Tips For Nailing Networking

If you feel your enthusiasm and focus on being the best you can be, either in an interview or on the job, may be working against you, you may want to rein in your enthusiasm and moderate your intensity to some degree. Nevertheless, and more often than not, it is a matter of developing good communication sense.

“Communication skills” and “communication sense” are not the same. Good communication skills are the foundation and underpinnings for developing communication sense, just like knowing the functions of the pieces on the chess board is ultimately necessary for executing strategy. Pieces don’t win the match, how you manage them does; and perhaps that’s all you need – a better strategy for managing your communications or sound communication sense.

Here are some tips to help:

Truism: You create a more meaningful connection by becoming interested in others before trying to interest others in you.

  1. Set up “informational interviews” with knowledgeable and/or influential people with the specific intention of gaining job information. Informational interviews are also great low-risk practice grounds for developing your communication sense.
  2. Don’t oversell yourself. Talking too much is perceived as over-selling. Focus and listen and show the interviewer that h/she matters.
  3. “Two ears, one mouth, blah, blah, blah…”
  4. Seek out “referrals” which results in less stressful interviews for all parties. When you are referred you enter the interview “pre-sold” to some degree and thus less burdened.
  5. Don’t bury your listener with incidentals and unnecessary details of a situation. When showcasing your value, if it’s not relevant to a result, drop it!
  6. Use simple language when talking with others. Don’t make your listeners plow through too much jargon, since “too much” can be a turn-off.
  7. Use brief anecdotes to communicate your value and strengths; keep each under 30-50 seconds and invite interviewer questions. (People will remember your anecdotal stories more than a litany of duties and responsibilities).
  8. Don’t rush. Stop and wait to see if there are any follow-up questions after responding to a question.
  9. Finally, target “spot opportunities,” Spot opportunities are typically unadvertised, unpublicized opportunities that are triggered by some activity or event in the business community: plant openings; new business developments, diversification or product introductions; mergers, acquisitions, divestitures; IPO’s, LBO’s, etc.
  10. Use your informational interviews, referrals and spot opportunities gain other networking opportunities; leads to jobs or actual openings you can get to before the crowd.

Effective communication continues to grow more and more important in our information-intensive world. How you manage your verbal communication in networking meetings and interviews will directly impact not only the quality of the meeting, but the number of meetings that arise as a result (networking), and consequently, the outcome of your job change or career search.

These 10 tips are helpful, but general. You may want to consider looking at some online communication-style and/or personality-style quizzes to learn if your communication or personality style is helping relationships or causing problems.

Entering meetings forearmed with that information plus the 10 tips herein will be a winning combination – and it makes good communication sense.

This post was originally published on an earlier date.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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Rob Taub Rob, a veteran career services professional with 25 years in the biz, is Principal of Job Search Corner and creator of the blog “Job Searching with Rob.”