Professional networking is one of the most powerful tools job seekers can use to find their next job. Because almost everyone has a lot of connections on LinkedIn and friends on Facebook, you would think that it would be easier than ever to land a job via networking.

It’s actually harder than it seems, in part because of the accessibility of contacts on social media which can lead to overusing those resources. It’s so easy to connect that it can be tempting to ask anyone for help.

It also gives job seekers who aren’t networking correctly the opportunity to waste time connecting with the wrong people – those who aren’t willing or able to help or don’t even know you.

If I get a request for a job referral, for example, from someone I barely know I won’t recommend them. It’s not fair to them, to the potential employer or to me. I’ve got to be sure that someone is well qualified for the job before I’d consider recommending them, and I can’t refer you unless I know you.

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