The Secret to Successful Job Hunting Today? Old Fashioned Networking

Posted June 6, 2024 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

The online job application was supposed to make everything easier. But it didn’t turn out that way. Job seekers are frustrated, even angry, after filling out dozens of applications and getting nary a response.  Now employers are buried under hundreds of job applications for every post. They’re not happy either.

As one recruiter said, “There’s an idealist in me that wants to look at all of those resumes. The reality is that you just can’t.” That’s why they put so much focus on referrals. In one study cited in the Wall Street Journal, 30% of eventual hires had referrals, even though people with referrals represented just 5% of the applicant pool.” Be part of the 5%!

Let’s look at the story of a client I’ll call Gemma, a talented project manager, that I talk about in my book, “You Are a Brand.” Gemma applied for a job that was a perfect fit for her skills and background. She even scored a series of interviews. Another candidate, Josh, who had been referred by another employee got the job, even though Dina had more experience. Turns out Josh had called around and was connected with a friend of a friend who agreed to refer him.

So I asked Dina, “Did you talk to people in your network to see if anyone had a connection that could lead to a referral for the job?” Dina’s reply: “Shouldn’t it just be about the experience you bring to the role.”

In a perfect world, maybe. Realize that it’s never just about the work. You need a network to succeed.

A recommendation can be the secret sauce that sets you apart from others, whether the referral comes from inside or outside the organization. In research done by Greenhouse, a hiring software company, candidates with referrals had a 50% chance of advancing.

As I like to say, “There’s nothing more powerful than positive word of mouth.”