It seems like it would be common sense by this point that networking -- that is, building a real professional network -- is the key to getting a great job. Yet still, employers and job hunters both start and end a lot of their hunt with job listings. This chart shows just how important networking is.
Business blog Inc. has run a survey for two years with over 1800 participants so far. The results, shown above, demonstrate that even when a job hunter is actively looking for a job, knowing someone or having a connection to a company is the most common way to get a job. Job listings help active hunters the most, but people who are passively or quietly looking for new jobs while they're employed are helped the most.
Does this mean you should stop looking at job listings? Of course not! It does, however, strongly imply that whether you're looking for a job or not, the more you communicate with people in your industry and the more you can connect with people at companies outside your own, the better your chances are at finding a job when you need it.