The chances of getting a job via networking are much better than any other method. In May 2000, 64 percent got them by networking. I'm unable to find more updated statistics, but anecdotal accounts on various HR and news websites indicates that recruiters want personal recommendations more and more. Why?
1) It's too difficult to wade through the on-line applications, many of which are completely unsuitable.
2) Using software to do keyword searches means that recruiters can miss someone fantastic who doesn't have the whole keyword thing down pat.
3) People recommended by employees in good standing will generally share that employee's values and to be a good fit with the organization.
4) Current employees won't risk their reputation by recommending a "dog" so trust is already built in the hiring equation, giving you a leg up on the competition.