Bad news for people on the job hunt: You may be wasting your time. Roughly three-quarters of job switchers never report having looked for a job, which suggests they were approached by recruiters or got noticed through word of mouth rather than diligently uploading their résumés, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
It's not altogether shocking that referrals are important to the job hunt. But the Fed's analysis, based on Census Bureau data, is potentially disheartening for those without an established professional network or a foothold in their chosen industry. Among employed people who have switched companies in the past five years, less than a quarter actively looked for jobs before jumping ship. Even among those who had previously been unemployed, only a third landed a job by applying cold.