Job Advertisements: The Second Strategy


Although you should never depend solely on responding to job postings, they can be a valuable part of your overall job search.

The focus of your job search should be to leverage and develop your circle of influence to find unadvertised job opportunities. Research has shown that only 20% of job seekers will find there next position by answering an advertisement.  Therefore, responding to job advertisements should be your second strategy for finding a job.  According to job seekers, responding to job advertisements can be one of the most frustrating aspects of a job search.  This is because most employers will not respond.  Therefore, it’s not uncommon to send out 30 or 40 resumes with no response!  Now that’s frustrating and depressing so proceed to this method with caution.  Be sure that your expectation for a low response rate is in check.

Job advertisements can come from a variety of sources such as internet job boards, company postings, newspapers, and email alerts.  Here are some tips that will help you keep your responses from disappearing into the “black hole.”

  • Apply to only 3-5 positions per week – Be very picky about the types of positions you apply for and only select those roles that match up exactly with your position objectives, background and experience.  If you apply for more than 5 positions per week, you will spend most of your time following up on job leads and lose productivity in your search.
  • Follow-up on each job advertisement using multiple methods – Don’t just send your resume and expect a response.  Be aggressive in following up with the job opportunity.  Your goal should be to identify the company and decision maker and submit your credentials to multiple people within the hiring organization.  You should not only send your resume through the job ad, but also try to send it to people that are already employed by the company.
  • Use your existing network to identify insiders and decision makers – If you apply for a position, get serious about leveraging your network for an internal connection.  It will most likely only take a couple of great connections to get you past all the other job applicants and stand out from the crowd.
  • Only apply to companies and positions that support your story – Be selective and choose companies and positions that will see value in your specific background and experience.  It is highly unlikely you will receive a positive response if you apply to positions outside of your scope of experience.

The key to any successful job search is to focus the majority of your time on high payoff activities. This is the best way to build momentum and protect yourself from frustrations that can affect your attitude. The lack of response that comes with these ads can be very disappointing. So remember to consider this path as your second strategy, and make sure you don’t dedicate too much time to this method and related activities. 

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