Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

The 4 Fundamental Approaches to Searching for a Job

There are  4 approaches to searching for a job that require different tactics and process.  They are:

A. Pursue a job you found posted somewhere
B. Pursue a target employer (even though they don’t have a job for you now)
C. Use an external recruiter
D. Networking

A job seeker should be using all 4 approaches, basically simultaneously. A key question, though, is “How should a job seeker allocate his job search time across the 4 approaches?”

Before I propose an answer for you, I’d suggest you perform a simple exercise for your own benefit. Sit back and think about how you spent your job search time over the last 2-6 months, and make an estimate of what portion of time you spent on each of the approaches. Write the answer down. When you’re done, you should have a list that looks like this:

A xx%
B xx%
C xx%
D xx%
Total = 100%

Don’t look / scroll down, yet. No cheating.

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I propose that you should be allocating your job search time like this:

A 10%-15%
B 20%-30%
C 5%-10%
D 65%-75%

So, where do these numbers come from? There have been a variety of surveys and research results published that asked job seekers the question “What approach led to the job you landed?” (or some variation, thereof). The numbers vary from survey to survey, so I included the rough ranges above.

So, if the above statistics indicate how succesful each approach is, why don’t you allocate your job search time, accordingly? – – – I hypothesize that the greater the difference between how you allocate your time and the statistics above, the longer you will be unemployed.

I have surveyed job seekers in my organization, the Chagrin Valley Job Seekers, and found that they’re spending too much time on approach A (pursuing job posted somewhere) and not enough time on approach D (networking). I suspect the same is true for most job seekers. (I think there are a variety of reason, which I plan to address with a later post.) – – – A good rule of thumb is that for each hour you spend searching the Internet for jobs (A), you ought to be spending 5-6 hours networking (B).

Play the odds. Don’t fight the tape. Spend more of your time  doing what works more often.

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February 4, 2010 - Posted by | All, Seeking

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