Importance of face-to-face networking for successfull job search

Posted July 04, 2007 by

Federal Bureau of Labor statistics indicate that 70% of all jobs in the United States are found through networking. This is no surprise because it’s human nature to prefer working with someone you know or recommended by someone you trust rather than dealing with a complete stranger.
Statistics from various career counseling organizations show that the rest 30% is distributed the following way: 11-13% of jobs are found through recruiters and approximately the same amount through applying on-line. The rest ~5% is other sources (response from printed ads, etc.) Therefore, submitting job applications on-line only gives you a very slim chance of actually landing a job irrespective of the industry.
But this is just one side of the problem. Having been a member of NAWBO’s (National Association of Women Business Owners) Diversity Committee for some time I participated in preparation of various diversity educational programs, which addressed generational diversity among other issues. Our recent findings indicate that recruiters and team managers (i.e. bosses of new recruits) who usually represent Baby Boomers generation (born 1940s – 1960) or Generation X (born 1961 – 1981) complain that new college graduates who represent Generation Y (born after 1981) lack people skills, social skills and team working skills that are crucial for many positions. This is due to the fact that the latter are “on-line” generation and though they engage in a lot of on-line networking it is predominantly with their coevals while their potential recruiters from earlier generations still prefer “face-to-face” interaction.
Therefore we can make a conclusion that face-to-face networking is vital for new college graduates for 2 main reasons:
1. This gives you a chance to meet their potential managers (HR or team leaders) or establish contacts with people who may lead them to the former
2. Develop people skills you may lack to increase the chance of being hired over other candidates in your generation group.
I will address the issue of where and how to network face-to-face in my next post.

Tatiana Sorokina is the author of the book “Legal Alien’s Guide. Chicago, IL, USA” and the blog that guide you through various networking organizations, associations and clubs in Chicago, Illinois and nationwide which help you to find a job, start and grow your own business or just find friends.

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