4 Ways to Spot Someone Who Will NEVER Help Your Job Search

All networkers are not created the same.

The fact is: some people will never help you.

Be careful of people who wear the masks of master networkers. Don’t be fooled by important job titles, 500+ LinkedIn connections, thousands of Twitter followers and frequent appearances at networking events. None of these traits necessarily indicates that a person will be helpful to you.

I tend to give networkers the benefit the doubt, but over time I’ve identified four traits of people who are least likely to be a useful connection. When you encounter any one of these traits, it’s time to move on to someone else in your network:

  • More interested in taking than giving – Even novice networkers know that the Offer comes before the Ask. When someone leads with an Ask, don’t expect anything in return. 
  • Never follows up – If the promises are big and the connection is loose, don’t be surprised when the introductions never materialize. The bigger people talk, often the less substance they have to offer. Don’t be fooled by flash; instead look for subtle and quiet. The best networkers are those who know and understand the art of following up.
  • In job search-mode themselves – This is counterintuitive to me. If you meet someone from the same industry or profession who is also looking for a job, two heads should be better than one. Who wouldn’t want someone to pass along leads and lend moral support? This is also an excellent long-term strategy for solidifying relations.  In theory, it sounds like a smart move, but I have not seen it work in real life. Self-absorbed job hunters are not going to look out for your needs during your search.
  • Wants others to ‘pay their dues’ – Professionals who are more concerned with hierarchy than results sometimes ascribe to the belief that everyone should claw their own way up the career ladder. You might hear them say, “That’s how I achieved my goals.” Anyone who is delusional enough to believe their success is entirely their own doing is not someone who will lend a hand.

There are plenty of generous networkers who will graciously open doors for you. Focus your efforts on like-minded people who understand the currency and language of influence.

Want more tips on becoming the best networker in the room? Download a free copy of The Foolproof Guide to Jumpstarting Your Transformation into a Person of Influence.