Study: For Job Networking, Quality Counts Over Quantity

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 2, 2017

While previous research found that large numbers of weak networking ties were best for finding a new job, more recent studies have found that, in today's world the opposite is now true: smaller numbers of strong ties who can vouch for you, according to the Harvard Business Review. Looking at testimonials from a San Francisco-based networking group, the researchers found that only 17 percent reported that they got their jobs through a weak networking tie (basically an acquaintance). More than 60 percent, meanwhile, credited someone they've worked with in the past (mostly former co-workers, though also former bosses or clients) with finding them a new job. This is largely because of the Internet, according to the research. The author says that the problem before was knowing whether or not a job was even available, and so those who cast a wide net were more likely to find out about opportunities. Today, however, people can more easily find out about opportunities online, which means the problem now is not whether or not the job exists, but how to differentiate yourself from all the other people also applying for the job. In this sense, if you know someone at the company, someone who can provide firsthand experience about what you are like as a coworker, you're much more likely to get the job than someone they know nothing about. This means that, instead of handing your business card out to everyone with a heartbeat and hope that one of them might know about a job opportunity, focus instead on smaller numbers of strong connections with people who know what it's like to work with you. 

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