link.png Could your professional network help you find your next job?← Back

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When you ask someone for career advice, it's likely that they'll emphasize the benefits of building up contacts within your industry, particularly when you’re in the process of changing jobs. Professional social networking site LinkedIn has recently published research that looks at the importance of networking and the chances it might land you a new job.
The findings, based on hiring and networking data from LinkedIn, revealed that on average, 16 out of 100 of new recruits had a connection to someone already working in the company. In some instances the candidate could have landed himself the job by being referred, whilst in some cases they might have found the job through word-of-mouth in their professional network.

The research found that the top three industries that hired the most from their employee networks were computer games, with 28.3% of candidates hired having first degree connections to someone within the company, followed by computer and network security at 27.8% and venture capital and private equity at 27.3%. Peter Rigano, Insight Analyst at LinkedIn, suggests that this is because these are fields that require a specific set of skills.
The study also reveals which industries hire the least from their employee networks: luxury goods and jewelry, apparel and fashion, retail as well as cosmetics are some of the industries which tend to look beyond their employee network to find new recruits.

As a general rule, though, networking can be beneficial regardless of the industry you are looking to work in. Rigano shares some advice: “Get to know people in your desired industry by going to professional events, asking for introductions, or by being a shameless opportunist.” By approaching people in your industry, networking should certainly make a significant difference to your job search