Networking key for job hunters

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Many senior executives now spend less than five minutes reading a candidate's CV during the hiring process

Networking has become the most important part of a job search, according to a study by Korn Ferry Futurestep.

The majority (77%) of the survey’s 1,815 senior executive respondents believed networking made the greatest difference in an increasingly competitive job market. CVs were seen as the most crucial by just 3% of respondents.

The tradition of including a covering letter with a CV divided opinion, with 26% saying it was significantly less important and 21% saying it was significantly more important than previously. A fifth (21%) said it was neither less nor more important.

Although all respondents read candidates’ CV during the hiring process, 51% said they spent less than five minutes doing so, and 13% less than two minutes.

The majority of respondents believed specific experience was the most important element on a CV (83%) followed by the quality of companies a person has worked for (15%).

Candidates' job tenure was another key consideration in the recruitment process, with 62% saying this mattered to some extent and just 13% saying it did not matter.

Peter Keseric, managing consultant of financial services and real estate at Korn Ferry Futurestep, emphasised the power of networking.

“Candidates who rise above the rest in this very competitive job environment are those who understand that landing a job takes a balanced approach," he said. "Resumes are not going away – they’re still an important part of the overall job search process. However, nothing gets a candidate ahead like networking, and networking today is a contact sport.

“Several elements go into the making of a successful job search and candidates who know how to communicate and create compelling resumes will have an advantage. But at the end of the day, direct experience and fit helps puts them over the top.”

Alex Arundale, group HR director at software company Advanced said: “We are not surprised by the results of the research showing people are less reliant on resumes.

“We believe passionately that ability should be measured by capability and potential. This ensures everyone is given a chance – and yes, it means CVs are thrown out the window here.”

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