The Job Search
From antidotal evidence, the percentage of job seekers who are using the wrong approach to the search is 80%+ – that’s a HUGE number. Let’s look at the various approaches and it will be obvious where you want to spend the majority of your efforts searching for that next opportunity.
Approach #1: Applying Online
The majority of job seekers spend most of their job search time applying to jobs online. Did you know that only 10% of people find their job through online ads? Let’s look at the reasons behind that statistic.
The Hidden Job Market
Most of the available jobs are not listed online; 85% of the available jobs are hidden. You have probably read about this Hidden Job Market. You may ask the question that other job seekers ask: “If they are trying to hire people, why would companies hide the jobs?”
One of the reasons for the hidden job market is that of the hundreds or thousands of applications filled out online and resumes sent in response to every job posted online, only 10% of them represent people who are even near to being qualified.
There can only be two reasons a person would apply for a job for which they are not qualified. One: they’re fulfilling the DOL requirement of x applications per week. Two: the job seeker is under the misconception that resumes are read by individuals and the reader will say “Hey, this guy is not a match for this job but we can use him for another we have open.” What these job seekers do not understand is that people do not read every resume.
Larger companies now use keyword software to scan the resumes, from which only 10% of them will pass. Keep in mind, 10% of hundreds or thousands is still a lot. Recruiters and hiring managers then select a batch of resumes from that number to visually scan. Your resume may or may not be in the batch that was selected for viewing. If your resume is lucky enough to be a part of the batch, your skills and experience must jump off the page in the 8-12 seconds given each resume.
Instead of going through the long, arduous process to get qualified candidates, companies are getting the word out through employees who in turn refer people they know.
Another reason companies have hidden jobs is to keep from tipping their hand that they are about to fire someone. Take the position of CIO for example. There is only one CIO in a company so if the company is about to fire the existing CIO, the company would not want to place an ad and chance having the current CIO seeing it.
Now, all that said, although the odds are not great, but 10% of people do find jobs applying online.
Approach #2: Working with Recruiters
The statistics say that 15% of job seekers find their jobs through recruiters (also known affectionately as headhunters). Recruiters are paid by companies to locate and present qualified candidates. As a job seeker, you are not the recruiter’s client, the company is their client. If the recruiter has two or three highly qualified candidates of which you are one, they will present all three candidates to the company, you and two of your competition. The recruiter does not really care if it is you or one of the other candidates who get the job; they just want the company to select someone they present so they have a happy customer and they get paid.
The number of job orders each recruiting company receives has gone down over the years yet the number of candidates has gone up. You practically need to know someone to get a recruiter to return your call.
But, again, 15% of job seekers do find their jobs through recruiters.
Approach #3: Job Networking
The statistic on the number of job seekers who find their job through networking is 75%. It’s also through networking that job seekers find the hidden job market. So ask yourself, where do you need to spend the majority of your time in your job search? Correct: networking.
You may feel you don’t have a very broad network, just a few friends, family, and peers – and they have been tapped out. The process of networking, when done correctly, will actually expand your network.
The powerful nature of networking is that the decision makers get to know you and all that you bring and they would rather hire you, a known entity, than someone they only know from a piece of paper, the resume.
Where to Network
Job Networking Groups:?If you are fortune enough to have job networking groups in your community, such as Crossroads Career Network, then you should take advantage of these meetings. Join LinkedIn, Yahoo and Google job search interest groups; they are a good source of information about the various groups in your region. Go to more than one of these groups, each has their own personality and offers different things: spiritual support, job search tips, and one-on-one mentors.
Spend part of your networking time attending these job search groups. However, you do not want to limit your networking time to events where most of the members are unemployed. You want to also network with employed people who have the inside information about the hidden job market; you want to attend meetings where your prospective hiring manager networks.
Industry Networking Groups:?Industry networking groups are target-rich environments in which to network. These groups are attended by employed people in your industry. When you actively work an industry networking group, you will expand your contacts, you will keep up on the industry, and the right people will get to know you and what you have to offer, getting you closer to decision makers and that next job.
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