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Looking for a job? Ask your mates!

Using your personal contacts is still one of the most effective ways to land a new job, an online YouGov survey of nearly 2,000 British adults has revealed. However, jobseekers are failing to use their networks to best effect, according to career social network, who commissioned the study.

The survey found that 62% of online people have recommended a job to a family member, friend or colleague. Of those known to have applied, 57% landed the job, suggesting that a personal introduction has a positive effect on a candidate’s success rate.
When asked who they would ask to look out for job opportunities, over half of respondents (55%) cited friends and acquaintances with 37% saying that they would ask a colleague.
However, over 1 in 5 (21%) said they would not tell anyone they were job-hunting. This trend generally increased in line with the age of the respondents, rising from 7% of 18-24 year olds to more than a third (36%) among those aged 55 years and over.
Surprisingly, only 1 in 10 said they used online social networks to put the word out that they are looking for a job. This is despite the fact that a separate survey has found out that a growing number of employers (up to 98%) say they are using or will use social networks for recruitment.
According to Charlie Duff, community manager at , the career social network used by companies like Tesco, Starbucks and IBM to build communities of potential employees, jobseekers are missing a trick.
"We know that 800 million people worldwide now use Facebook** and more and more employers are turning towards social networks to look for job candidates. So by not putting the word out online, people are losing out on a host of potential opportunities.”
The US has seen nearly a 50% increase in the number of people finding employment through social networks. A 2011 survey of 1,205 job candidates by jobs board Jobvite found that 16% of jobseekers found their current job through a social network, compared to 11% in 2010.
"Very often, where the US goes, we soon follow,” adds Charlie. "So we can expect many more people in the UK to find jobs through social media websites in the near future. And the sooner people realise the power of their personal contacts, the better. There is obviously a growing need for a social network purely for professional networking: BraveNewTalent is exactly that.”
In order to help people make the most of their social networks, has created Talent Connections, a tool which helps people find career opportunities through their personal network and to keep their professional and private lives separate.  It shows people where their friends work, opening up opportunities for referrals and introductions and providing useful information about potential employers.
Talent Connections shows your friends’ first and second degree connections to employers, and allows you to make contact, or request an introduction. Jobseekers can then stay in touch with employers until a suitable opportunity comes up.