It's no secret that "who you know" matters when looking for a job. But what does that really mean?

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How do people land their first job?

Job seekers can feel lost after graduating.

Exposure — to different careers and fields — gets job seekers to their first job faster.

Social capital further accelerates the process, shortening the pathway and breaking down walls.

Social capital can be broken down into two simple concepts: actions and resources.

Messaging recruiters on LinkedIn

Attending a networking event

Actions are what job seekers do to build and activate their networks.

Requesting an informational interview

Our data shows 90% of Basta participants are regularly taking relevant actions.



Receiving an introduction to a hiring manager

Getting insider knowledge about hiring freezes

Resources are the ways a network facilitates landing a first job. For example, those who had a referral were 4x more likely to be hired.1

Having an application fast-tracked

The relationship between actions and resources is not linear.

More action doesn't always yield more resources...

Because not all connections can offer the same resources.

What matters most is who is in a young person's network.

Using Seekr, BASTA characterized job seekers' networks along two dimensions.

Personal to professional

and peer to senior.

In our dataset of almost exclusively first-generation job seekers, personal connections make up most of the networks.

When their network was made up primarily of parents and neighbors, job seekers asked for and received support less often.

Job seekers with more professional connections asked for help the most. But without senior people in those networks, their actions didn't yield as many results.

Job seekers with more managers and mentors in their network got the best return on the actions they took.

While job seekers benefit from varied networks, senior professionals prove to be vital for securing a first job.

How can YOU level the playing field?