People spend countless hours on sites such as LinkedIn, attending functions, branding themselves and doing everything they can to enhance the odds of achieving what they want through networking.

From the years I've been in business, especially those in which I've been around job seekers - consistently analyzing their job search methods and tendencies, I've come to the conclusion that networking, for many is highly ineffective and is mostly used as a way to feel important via "dropping names."

Why Networking Does Not Work For Most

The reasons why many waste hundreds of hours in failed attempts to network include:

1. They are networking with the wrong individuals. If you're networking with people who are not decision makers or who are not in the least in the market for what you're selling, then you're taking away from time that could be spent perfecting your craft - your true networking tool.

When you're in a room with 100 people who are only concerned about their needs, then...you're in a room with a 100 people only concerned about their needs (if you get the drift).

2. Those who they network with see right through their motivations. Many times, networkers come across as very tacky and, often allude to the fact that they are desperate to get what they want, thus turning people off to them.

3. They attempt to use networking as a short-cut. Understand that networking is never a short-cut. Unfortunately, many individuals attempt to rely on networking to make up for the work that they are capable of doing (as anyone can become great at what they do), thus when they do get in front of decision makers, they don't pass the qualifying rounds regardless of how amicable, outgoing and engaging they may be.

How You Can Stand Out and Profit from Networking

1. Forget going for the reputation as knowing everyone and start striving for the reputation as someone who really cares about their clients, is a hard worker and is honest.

2. Diversify - network enough and you're bound to get some business or even get a job, but those who are reliant on networking don't make as much money and don't have as fulfilling careers.

Instead, networking should be a bonus, not a strategy at the forefront. In business, there is something to be said for tenacity. Thus, consistently pursuing other avenues is going to yield a significantly higher amount of business than networking alone.

Also, the karma for doing so is probably going to allow you to achieve those "lay-up" accounts brought in from networking.

In the End

At day's close, while networking is fun, less labor intensive and allows the business owner to prospect with a glass of Chardonnay in their hand, there must be more diversification in one's business arsenal.

Finally, be able to differentiate between the people to network with and those to have fun with. While one is not better than the other, they serve different purposes.

Author's Bio: 

Ken Sundheim runs KAS Placement, an executive staffing firm that Ken started in 2005.

Miami Executive Recruiters Sales Recruiters Miami

New York City Recruitment Agency NY Headhunters

Ken's articles have appeared in, among many others Forbes, NYTimes, USA Today and more.

KAS Placement is an executive recruitment agency.