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At some point in your career, you were probably turned down for a job at a new organization in favor of an “internal” candidate. Most of us have had that experience. It’s even more likely (though you probably weren’t aware of it) that you’ve been rejected at times in favor of outside applicants who were known quantities to the hiring managers —candidates who were referred by other employees or recommended by friends of friends. That’s how the world works.

In fact, if you look back on your own checkered past, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll recall that a lot of the jobs you did get came through personal connections of some kind — associates, mentors, friends, family. You’re savvy about organizations, and savvy job-seekers rarely go in cold.

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