How will you find your next job? Networking, probably

The best way to get a job is still through your network, a new survey shows.

How will you find your next job? 41 million Americans will be looking for a new job this year, and there are myriad ways to find one – by searching job boards, employer websites, through a recruiter, through networking or a friend, a headhunter, job events, social media, and more. Most job-searchers undoubtedly do some of each to cover all the bases.

A recent survey of 1,535 US adults asking them how they landed their latest job, by marketing research and polling firm CivicScience, found that found that traditional wisdom prevailed: it’s all about the personal connection. More people found a job through networking or “knowing someone” that they did through job boards, job fairs, Linked, headhunters, or any other method.

Thirty-one percent of respondents said they found their most recent job through networking, while only 11% used an online job board.  23% answered  “other,” which could mean applying in person, especially in the case of service jobs.

Some other findings:

  • Certain industries are more conducive to networking than others. Workers in sales/operations are social butterflies: 47% of those in that industry found their current job through networking, and 44% of people in tech did as well. Compare that to service work, where only 15%  found their most recent job through their network.
  • Millennials are better at getting jobs through job boards: 17% of Millennial found their most recent job via a job board. Only 9% of Gen Xers and 7% of Baby Boomers did.
  • The more (money) the merrier: people making over $100,000 per year are the least likely to have found their latest job through a job board or employer website, perhaps because they have access to a stronger network and other opportunities. Indeed, 35% found their most recent job through their network than lower income brackets. Only 27% of people making <$50K found their last job through networking but are likelier to have found a job through a job board or website.

So keep your network strong, even when you’re not looking – you’ll be glad when you do need to use it.

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.