Here's another job search trap: you think you can network by going to professional group meetings, mashups, informational lunches, and other kinds of what I call “background networking.”
You need to do this kind of networking to expand you network. But it won't get you a job. It will keep you unemployed.
You need to also create a target list of companies, companies you want to work at. Not types of companies. Real companies, with real names, on a real list. This takes research.
Once you have your target list, you also need to have your marketing spiel (which I describe in Manage Your Job Search), and then you can decide how to find someone at one of your target companies every single week.
If you expand your background networking every week, chances are good you know someone who knows someone at your target company. Maybe you even know someone at your target company! But, if you haven't defined your target list, you don't know what you are looking for. It's a problem.
You do need to go to meetings. You do need to have informational interviews. You need to keep thinking about where you are focusing your networking efforts.
Background networking, by itself, is insufficient. Add target networking to it? Now you have a winning combination.
There are two more days of the Manage Your Job Search launch. I'm hosting conference calls this week. Today's, April 14, is about networking basics. Tomorrow's is tips and traps. I'll do a quick intro and answer your questions. Join me?