Want the Job? Change How You Job Search

Do you spend the majority of your job search connecting with people – networking both online and in-person?

If you’re like most job seekers, the answer is likely, “no”. In fact, the average job seeker spends most of their time applying to online applications, tweaking their resume… and applying to more job postings.

If this sounds like you, stop… right now!

Just as the old way of searching through the newspaper job classifieds gave way to job postings online… your job search must transform again. The majority of hiring now happens through referrals!

I remember when I was working with one job seeker in particular, he asked what advice I had to help him improve his job search. Simple, I said, “I forbid you from applying for any more jobs. Go talk to people instead!”

A friend sent me this article, Job-Hunt Tips from the Depression-Era Playbook, from the Wall Street Journal (quite a fascinating read!) During the Great Depression, unemployment was above 24%. (And we’re complaining about 8% now, jeez!) Many were able to find work or created work. This article tells the tales of some of the survivors of the depression. Read and learn!

The article also sites a paper presented at the Brookings Institution by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Columbia Business School’s Andreas Mueller. In their survey of over 6,000 job seekers, this is what they found:

Alan Krueger Andreas Mueller paper

Why, when we know a referral is the best chance we have of getting a job, are we stuck in a job search strategy that hasn’t worked since 2007? The body of proof is out there across so many studies… recruiters prefer to interview and hire people they know or whom are referred by people they know.

For the next 30 days, I challenge you to drastically change how you spend your job search time. I challenge you to do something dramatically different.

If you are unemployed, you should be spending at least 35 hours a week in job search related activities… and 70% of that time should be spent networking!

job search hours

It will take time and great effort on your part to make this transition. Be patient. You won’t feel immediate gratification. Here are some thoughts on how you can begin to make this happen as quickly as possible:

  • Schedule time weekly to meet with contacts, influencers and recruiters via phone or in-person (get a calendar, you are going to need it!)
  • Be sure to contact ALL your friends and family on a regular basis; remind them you are still looking with suggestions on how they can help
  • Contact all you past supervisors and managers to let them know you are looking for new opportunities
  • Get in touch with former colleagues, vendors, and suppliers and let them know you’re on the hunt
  • Turn every activity into an opportunity to meet new people… and build relationships
  • Attend professional association meetings, conferences, chamber of commerce events and meet-ups to meet people within your target companies and industry

Phew! That sounds like a lot of work. And on one level, it is… a LOT of work. This is, however, how you’ll find a job NOW.

Dump your antiquated job search strategy. Embrace the power of social media and face-to-face networking. Begin building new relationships… and get your new job!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!



HannahAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



This entry was posted in Job Search, Networking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.