No matter where you are in your career or job search, you already have great contacts. Adopt the strategy of "Karma-Networking” and you can be an asset to your network as well as benefit from these relationships.
First: Gather the Data-
1) Grab all those old business cards and put them to use. Ask for business cards in meetings and interviews.
2) Keep an on-going (past, present and future) list of target companies.
3) Add names of professors, advisors, managers, group leaders, etc — they all count.
Next: Arrange the Data-
1) Evernote.com is a system that allows you to create notes, notebooks, web-clips, audio notes, photos, and more. It is a great place for company research, interview notes, strategies on dream jobs, just about everything. All the notes and notebooks are searchable and sync between devices.
2) JibberJobber.com is specifically designed to organize contacts for job seekers. Based on Customer Relationship Management systems, the contact categories include all the key information, referrals, notes, job tracking and a robust Next Action feature.
3) LinkedIn.com is a catch-all network with great career background on your contacts. Build a diverse group of contacts from all areas of your life — work, school, summers, etc. Grow your network easily without too much effort, thanks to the built-in prompts of people you know, or may want to know.
These are easy ways to organize networking information and allow ready access. Choose a combination of whatever systems work for you, and the free version is usually adequate. So get started- - and please add me to your contacts.