Most employment advisors will tell their clients that the most effective tool for finding a job is networking. Many times the conversation on that topic ends there and the student/client is left to wonder what "networking" is and how to go about it.
First of all, is it really the most effective means of landing the job you are seeking? Yes and no. The truth is that there is no one single most effective tool for the job seeker. Those that employ the most tools are generally the first to land a good position.
Networking is meeting people, introducing yourself, and letting them know you are seeking employment. Networking with people you already know allows you to develop several extended recruiters to look for opportunities for you. If you share your resume/skills with them and tell them what type of position you are looking for, you now have an advocate who in turn has many contacts. Meeting new people at community events, business luncheons, chamber events, alumni functions, job fairs, etc. provides you an opportunity to pass on your resume/business card and discuss your qualifications in person. Many times this can lead to an interview, which is your objective.