Job seekers spend endless hours surfing job boards and sending out resumes but all too often are met with stony silence in response. The truth is that networking is a far more powerful way to land a great professional opportunity. The importance of networking can’t be overstated; the statistics on the matter are consistent and dramatic. As I can attest to from my years in executive recruitment, 60 to 80 percent of jobs are obtained through networking.

Let’s break down the importance of networking in business and why your network trumps surfing job boards and online postings:

Most jobs aren’t published
It may feel like the web is flooded with job listings. However the vast majority of open positions actually aren’t posted. In my experience, only 20 to 40 percent of company positions end up online and, the more senior the role, the less likely it is to be advertised online. The only way to get access to those unpublished jobs is by building up your network which enables you to obtain the inside track on genuine opportunities.

Recruiters are inundated with applications
When jobs are posted online, internal recruiters are flooded with applications. Consequently, those recruiters are left looking for a needle in a haystack. The vast majority of the applications aren’t quite right so it’s incredibly easy for a resume to get overlooked in the shuffle and never end up in the hands of a hiring manager. In many cases, a human never even looks at your resume. It gets scanned into an Applicant Tracking System alongside hundreds of others and is archived away.

Recruiters rely on networking
I am often asked, “Why is social networking important for job seekers?” The answer is clear and simple – you have to be where the recruiters are to connect with them and recruiters are on LinkedIn! Posting jobs and screening resumes is such an inefficient process that recruiters are now actively searching for candidates that meet their criteria instead of the other way around.

Even better, go around the recruiters and straight to the hiring managers by attending networking events. Personality and culture fit don’t translate onto paper, so any time you can put yourself in front of people you’re at an advantage.

Interviews that come through networking are higher quality
When you walk into an interview obtained through networking, you already have a leg up on candidates who landed the interview from a job posting. Interviewers generally have a favorable bias towards job seekers recommended by someone within the organization or their own networks. You’ve been “vouched for” so to speak, and therefore have a greater likelihood of ultimately being hired.

A human connection is always more powerful than a digital one. Read up on Your Career Intel for networking tips to get you started and share your experiences below.

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