The Dos and Don'ts of Networking Etiquette

Are you tired of attending networking events and feeling like a fish out of water? Do you struggle to make meaningful connections with other professionals? If so, you're not alone. Networking can be intimidating, especially when you're new to the game. But fear not! This article will provide you with the dos and don'ts of networking etiquette, so you can make the most out of your networking experiences.

The Dos

1. Be prepared

Before attending a networking event, make sure you're prepared. Know what the event is about, who will be attending, and what you hope to accomplish. Dress appropriately and bring business cards to exchange with others. And, of course, bring your best attitude and a friendly smile.

2. Listen and ask questions

When meeting someone new at a networking event, the most important thing you can do is listen. Ask open-ended questions that encourage the other person to talk about themselves and their interests. Show genuine interest in what they have to say and make a mental note of any key information they share.

3. Follow up

After meeting someone at a networking event, don't forget to follow up. Send an email or LinkedIn message thanking them for their time and reminding them of what you discussed. If appropriate, suggest meeting up for coffee or lunch to continue the conversation.

4. Give back

Networking is a two-way street. Don't just focus on what you can get out of the event, but also think about what you can give. Offer to introduce someone to a contact you know or share a resource that could be helpful to them. Generosity will take you far in the world of networking.

5. Be respectful

Always be respectful of others at networking events. Don't interrupt someone who is speaking, and don't monopolize the conversation yourself. Respect others' time and boundaries, and never pressure someone into giving you their contact information.

The Don'ts

1. Forget your manners

When attending a networking event, don't forget your manners. Say "please" and "thank you," don't interrupt others, and avoid vulgar language or inappropriate jokes. Remember that you're representing yourself and your business, so act accordingly.

2. Be a wallflower

Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to others at a networking event. Sitting quietly in the corner won't help you make connections. Make the effort to approach others and start a conversation. Even if you're shy, try to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

3. Oversell yourself

While it's important to promote yourself at a networking event, avoid overselling yourself. Don't exaggerate your accomplishments, and avoid coming across as arrogant. Instead, focus on what you can offer others and how you can help them achieve their goals.

4. Be too pushy

Networking is all about building relationships, and relationships take time. Don't be too pushy with people you've just met. Avoid bombarding them with emails, phone calls, or LinkedIn messages. Give them space and time to respond.

5. Ignore nonverbal cues

When networking, pay attention to nonverbal cues. If someone seems uncomfortable or disinterested, don't keep pushing the conversation. If someone is backing away, take the hint and politely end the conversation. Remember that networking should be a positive experience for both parties.


Networking can be intimidating, but it's an essential skill for anyone looking to build their career or business. By following the dos and don'ts of networking etiquette, you can make meaningful connections with other professionals and advance your goals. Remember to be prepared, listen and ask questions, follow up, give back, and be respectful. And, of course, don't forget your manners, be proactive, avoid overselling yourself, don't be too pushy, and pay attention to nonverbal cues. With these tips in mind, you'll be a networking pro in no time!

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