By Robyn Melhuish
ATLANTA, Ga. (TheStreet) -- Networking can be a hassle, but it's necessary if you want to get ahead in your career. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics discovered a full 70% of all jobs are found through networking. Another survey revealed four in 10 job-seekers found their dream job through personal connections.
Networking is too important to ignore if you want to land the job you've been hoping for. Unfortunately, networking can be a minefield of professional faux pas if you're not careful. Here are the five biggest mistakes you need to avoid if you don't want your contacts avoiding your calls:
Approaching with a "Job, please!" attitude
There are many reasons to expand your professional network. You might be interested in rubbing elbows with the movers and shakers in your field, or you might just want to commiserate about the industry with someone who truly understands. Not everyone is in the networking game to score a new position for themselves. If you walk into the room with the attitude of getting a job immediately from one of your contacts, the odds aren't in your favor.
Instead, look at networking as a way to build relationships and ask for mentorship. Don't just talk at your circle; listen to what they're saying. Ask for the opportunity to have an informational coffee and quiz them about the industry. Find someone in a position you admire and ask formally if they would be willing to mentor you. Coming into a networking situation with a sense of entitlement will have you leaving without a job or any new contacts.