Job seekers know that networking is an important part of a job search. But just how important is it? The Salary Reporter and Jobvite, published this month, clearly demonstrates that networking is vital to your job search – and highlights some interesting networking possibilities you might not be fully taking advantage of.
The study looked at how recruiters and hiring managers located the people they ultimately hired. Referrals, meaning people recommended to them by others, were the top source of hiring. But the study revealed some interesting information about how referrals work.
Don’t stop networking. It took Thomas Edison over 1,000 tries to make a successful light bulb. Similarly, it might take you many referrals to get hired. The firms in the study received ten referrals per one hire, which means when you network you might not be the only person with a connection to a company. Don’t let that dismay you. Referrals are still the #1 source of external hires. You’re still much more likely to get a job through a referral than through cold online submissions where you’re just one among the hundreds.
Network with everyone. Almost half of the firms cited high numbers of hires through alumni, vendors, customers and other outside sources. That means anyone could lead to a potential referral, not just professionals in your industry. So put yourself out there and don’t limit your networking – you never know who could give you your next great referral!
Social media matters. 88.5% of the firms surveyed consider social media part of their direct sourcing efforts. Don’t get overlooked by recruiters! Build an impressive online presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Publish blogs and online articles. Get your name and your brand out there.
The study confirms that networking rules when it comes to job search, and that social media is also critical. It also shows that a referral is not enough to get you hired. It’s still up to you to give a great interview and to show that you are a match for the job.