Networking is one of the most important job search strategies, but only if you're doing it effectively.  Many people make mistakes that they don't even realize they are making.  This article identifies four mistakes, and offers solutions to overcome them.

Mistake #1: Only talking about yourself
Instead: Show some interest in the people you're networking with.  Not only will you learn valuable information, but they will then show interest in your story as well.

Mistake #2: Expecting them to get you a job
Instead: Look for ways to help them first, so they are more willing to help you with your needs.

Mistake #3: Not saying Thank You
Instead: Use common courtesy and express your gratitude.  Even a tiny bit of thanks can make their contributions feel valued.

Mistake #4: Not following up.
Instead: Follow through on doing what you say you will do, and then reconnect later to confirm.  For example, if you're networking with someone in human resources, and they tell you you need to apply on their website, first apply on their website and then follow up to confirm you have done so.

These social habits can go a long way toward increasing the effectiveness of your networking efforts.