Job seekers have never been more empowered as they are in today’s job market. The vast amount of tools, advice and sites they have at their disposal is truly amazing. But sometimes they overlook the best tool in their toolbox: their personal network of friends, family and colleagues.

When it comes getting hired, statistics prove that knowing someone who works there will increase your chances of landing a gig. Here are five reasons why you really need to get referred;

  • Jobvite says referred candidates are hired 55% faster than traditional candidates.

  • Referred candidates are three to four times more likely to be hired according research firm Career Crossroads.

  • The person referring you is motivated because he/she is likely to receive a monetary bonus if you get hired.

  • The employer prefers using its employees to help source talent since these candidates prove to be more trusted and become better performers.

  • In many cases your contact can personally hand in your resume to the hiring manager in person, thus avoiding the dreaded resume black hole.

So you can see how important it is to know someone who works there when applying for a job. It’s a win-win situation for all parties. Your social networks like Linkedin and Facebook are good starting points to find a way inside a company. You can also use a tool like Jobs With Friends which organizes those connections into one place.

With the new Facebook graph search you have even more ways to discover people that you don’t know who work at certain companies. You can use that to then backtrack and see if you have any friends who know them in order to get an introduction. Google Plus is also another database you can search since many people on that platform also list their company name.

Tapping your network should be the first thing any new job seeker does. You must take stock of who you know, where they work and start your search with them. It’ll probably get you hired that much faster!

Chris Russell is the Founder & CEO of He is widely considered the ‘Mad Scientist of Online Recruiting. Follow him on twitter @chrisrussell. Helping job seekers is his passion.

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