Writing in U.S. News & World Report, G.L. Hoffman discusses seven ways not to use your connections to get a job. An excerpt:
Don’t assume personal friendship transfers to a professional relationship. Maybe it does, but just because you play softball with someone does not mean he can find you a job at his company or properly present you and your skills to the right person. Sometimes it is better for us to present our own skills to the HR manager than have someone who really doesn't know us in this way present them.