No matter how great your resume is, it’s probably not going to get you hired. That is not on its own, without some form of referral or network connection.

According to Jobvite’s latest annual Recruiter Nation report, while 93% of recruiters still “rely” on resumes, there are other places they first look before looking at a direct application. The top three are:

    Referrals – 78%
    Social networks – 56%
    Intern hires – 55%

“Direct applications” comes in only fourth, at 46%, and “outside recruiters” rounds out the top five at 38%.

Recruiters don’t care about your cover letter or GPA

While a majority of recruiters, 56%, said they are having trouble finding qualified candidates, among the things they’re not looking for are good GPAs and cover letters. Both ranked low for importance for a majority.

The factors that ranked highest were “previous job experience” and “cultural fit,” followed by “references,” and “STEM skills.”

But they do care about your social media presence

The survey also found that 92% of recruiters use some form of social media during the recruitment process.The platform the looked at the most was, not surprisingly, LinkedIn, followed by Facebook and Twitter.


What do they like to see? Also, not surprising: among the things that they listed as turnoffs were information about alcohol consumption (54%) and marijuana consumption (75%). Twenty-five percent also said posting selfies is a bad idea.

The things they do like to see included details about volunteer, professional, or social engagement work (76%) and good spelling and grammar (72%).

What else are they looking at on your social pages?

    74% want to know how long you spend in the average job
    34% want to know if you have mutual connections
    30% are looking for commitment to professional organizations

It’s not news that jobseekers should be spending as much time as possible making connections, both in person and in the virtual world. But it bears repeating. You hear all the time that the job search is all about “networking” and you think, “Oh, not this again” but it’s true. It is all about who you know. If people don’t know you, they can’t refer you.

Also, and we can’t say this often enough, be very careful about what you post on social media. Do you really need to post that selfie? Probably not. Put the camera down and go do some volunteer work instead. Your career will thank you.