Our careers columnist, Dawn Rasmussen, once wrote that the key to a successful job search is tapping into your personal network. That strategy still seems to stick.
According to a recent study of 60,000 participants by Right Management, person-to-person networking is a job seekers’ most successful tool.
The findings show that traditional networking was the source of new career opportunities for 41 percent of job candidates last year, while Internet job boards accounted for just 25 percent of new positions landed.
“The job search is changing and some approaches are losing ground to others, but classic, systematic networking continues to be most effective way to find suitable employment,” said Carly McVey, Right Management’s vice president of career management. “Certainly technology plays a growing role. But online social networking may not always be separate from traditional networking since one so often leads to the other. A job seeker uses the Internet to track down former associates or acquaintances and then reaches out to them in person. And, just like a cold call, the Internet is a way to make an initial contact with a prospective employer.”
Other finding include:
- In 2010, for the first time “Online Network” was made a separate category and cited by 4 percent of the successful job candidates.
- The “Direct Approach” or cold calling is holding its own as an effective tool for many job seekers.
- Newspaper or periodical classified ads continue their decline as a source of new employment, while Internet job postings play an increasing role.
- Agencies, recruiters and search firms may be regaining their place in the mix, perhaps as a result of a strengthening job market.
- “Other” may mean some combination of the above, or perhaps serendipity, direct referral or even good luck…and will surely remain an aspect of a successful job hunt.
A job search, though, is usually a more complicated and multi-layered process, McVey says.
“Job candidates are encouraged to use as many tools as possible, every kind of research, any former contacts and every opportunity to reach out to people who may be able to help," McVey said. "So in practical terms successful job candidates rely on a mix of approaches to find the new position most suitable for them. Nevertheless, from year to year the data say that traditional networking is nearly twice as successful as any other job search method. People tend to trust people they meet.”
Score another win for face-to-face meetings!