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Networking sites can be a great way of establishing contacts and relationships as part of your job hunt. But there are many, many networking sites, and competition is fierce. MySpace is growing at a phenomenal rate, Friendster says it's going to start adding job hunting resources, Google jumps in with their Orkut site, Tickle claims 18 million members (yeah, right) - and not one of these sites is connected to any other. The resultant networks are completely isolated. So if you are going to use this route in your job hunt, you should probably choose just one or two sites to use in building your network.
It doesn't take much experience with Networking sites to see that this is all about trust. When you are inviting people to join your network, you should only invite the people you know well, and trust. If a friend that you invited in starts trying to sell herbal vitamins to the rest of your network, it's going to come back on you. The people you invite in are counting on your recommendation that all of the people you have invited in are trustworthy; and so it goes, out through all your degrees, and into other people's. Don't invite your sister's no-good kid, just to pad the numbers.
I'll say it again for emphasis: when you invite someone in to your network, you are inviting them into not just your network, but the networks of the hundreds and thousands of people who connect to you. These people are all "every one of them" depending on your judgment about those you have invited, just as you are depending on theirs. The system collapses if the people involved are not truthful, reliable, consistent, and principled.
Tools For Career Networking
An excellent list of various networking resources available on the Internet.
Networking Services Meta List
Here you will find lists of hundreds of networking sites: business networking, common interest networking, dating, meeting facilitation sites. Very extensive.
Networking Resources by State
Job-Hunt has a list here of links to networking resources, organized by state.
Guide to Online Networks
This page, from the Online Business Networks Web site, has summaries and full reviews of a number of business networking sites.
LatPro is a job board for Latin and Hispanic professionals. Here, on its Resources page, are some links to sites that can help with networking during your job-hunt.