10 Careers Where LinkedIn Networking Really Matters Resources

These days, everyone talks about the importance of maintaining a strong LinkedIn presence. But do people really use this popular social network to find jobs?

The short answer is “yes,” but to some extent, it depends on the industry. As Forbes reports, data analytics specialist Peter Rigano recently looked at users who found jobs in October 2014. He was trying to determine what percentage of these individuals had used LinkedIn at least six months before changing jobs to establish contact with the companies that wound up hiring them. What he found was telling.

First off, 16 percent of the LinkedIn users Rigano studied had strong connections to their new employers. The nature of these connections varied, and while some people used LinkedIn to simply learn about openings and opportunities, others used the service to land actual referrals. Rigano also discovered that online networks are especially vital to hiring in certain fields. He compiled a list of the 10 industries that hire most often from employee networks, and they’re as follows:

1. Computer games (28.3 percent)
2. Computer and network security (27.8 percent)
3. Venture capital and private equity (27.3 percent)
4. Political organization (26.2 percent)
5. Wireless (24.9 percent)
6. Management consulting (24.6 percent)
7. Defense and space (24.3 percent)
8. Computer software (22.1 percent)
9. Motion pictures and film (22.1 percent)
10. Computer hardware (21.8 percent)

The three fields that see the least hiring based on LinkedIn networks are restaurants (7.1 percent), freight delivery (7.3 percent), and medical practice (7.9 percent). Others in the bottom 10 include retail, food production, and textiles.

While Rigano’s data would suggest that tech-centric fields described by Forbes writer George Anders as “highly clubby” and “close-knot” place a higher premium on networks, that might not be entirely correct. As Anders writes, workers in the restaurants and medical industries do typically rely on networking — it might just be that connections don’t occur through LinkedIn. In other words, it is still “who you know,” but it’s not necessarily “who you know online.”

“The low scores could reflect, at least in part, a lower percentage of such workers’ networks that are found within LinkedIn’s databases,” Anders writes.