I often hear British graduates expressing something like a physical revulsion at the idea that they might have to network their way into a job. The UK recently had a minor scandal about the fact that young people with great social connections find themselves in the top internships. Workers used to an equal opportunities culture often express ethical objections to the idea that you might talk your way into a short-list of one simply through opportunity or connections. Surely all jobs need to be advertised, if not just for fairness but to guarantee a strong talent pool?
There is a gulf between our idealized picture of how jobs are filled, and a hard but often unstated reality: in any market, no matter how transparent on the surface, a large proportion of jobs are either not advertised or already have someone's name on them before the first interview. Read complete Harvard Business Review blog.