I saw this tweet from someone in the database world recently:
It's a good reminder that networking can really help you. Networking breeds word of mouth. It's grass roots, it's the personal recommendation that might make a big difference to a hiring manager when they consider you. After all, a note from an individual carries much more weight than your resume or CV.
Networking is also easy. Networking is as simple as having a conversation. It's something you should do on a regular basis to help you meet new people, keep in touch with those you know, and in general, keep you involved in your career.