Many agree that networking can be one of HR professionals best tools. Whether it be online or at a conference, it can be an invaluable resource. However, careful steps should be taken to avoid networking mistakes. The following is the top four mistakes taken by your peers according to a recent survey by Robert Half International:

#1: Not asking for help when needed РOne of the biggest benefits of having a solid network of professionals is that you can call them when facing a problem, needing advice, etc. However, this is where many professionals fall short and do not utilize their network. Asking for help from people in the network is a great way to bring a new, good perspective to the situation.

#2: Not keeping in touch with contacts

Making connections at a conference or a meeting is an excellent way to establish new professional contacts. However, so often the contact info is exchanged, only to be forgotten a few months later. To avoid this misstep, schedule time to stay in touch with contacts. This can be done in person, or even online through social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

#3: Not thanking people for their help

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. When you realize you may have failed to thank someone, do it right away, even if it is long after the fact. This effort will be appreciated. A tip for professionals is to keep some stationary handy for future thank you notes.

#4: Not helping others when they need it

People get busy, emails may be overlooked and opportunities are too often missed where you have the chance to help contacts you have made through networking. If you have missed an opportunity such as this, one of the best ways to handle it is to offer up an honest apology.