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CMU Researcher: Don’t Depend on LinkedIn to Find a Job

A new study reinforces the old adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know.

photo: shutterstock


How many times a week do you get a LinkedIn connection request? Conversely, how many requests do you seek when visiting the career networking site? A new study from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences suggests you might be wasting your time.

Researchers asked 424 college-grad LinkedIn members how they looked for a job and which strategies paid off.

Job sites such as Monster.com produced the most leads but interviews and job offers were more often the result of strong ties such as personal relationships and recommendations.

“We found that strong ties have a significant and positive effect on job interviews,” study co-author Rahul Telang, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, tells the New York Post. “Weak ties, on the other hand, while they had a greater impact on job leads, have a statistically insignificant impact on job interviews.”

“For leads to convert into interviews, your connections will most likely be required to conduct follow up on their end, such as make phone calls or provide recommendations,” he adds. “If the connection is weak, these individuals may be less likely to undertake these efforts.”

The study’s findings are important to employers who increasingly rely on technology to find the best and brightest employees and conclude that “It is good to ask going forward: How effective are these networks in finding the right employee, and at what cost?”

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