||I agree. Especially coming out of college, you don't really know anyone, so the connections things doesn't really play any factors.
Sending my resume got looks for getting interviews for Google, Microsoft, Amazon, HP, Intel, and Lehman Brothers, to name a few. Not that I am good, but sending my resume did initiate an interview like Minilek said. Also, I did not attend a school that was even close to a Top 10 school as others. That's possibly the reason why the looks are hard to get, but you tend to get them.
Would anyone like to comment on the latter part of my statement? I'm not even in the top 50% of Topcoder members, though for most of the interviews, you don't really have to be that great...maybe that speaks for the lack of intelligence in the CS fields nowadays? (Well except MS and Google)