Doing an “effective” work search


Be Strategic in Your Job Search[1]

In all my years as a work search expert, I have never heard one person say, “I love job seeking!” We all know why. Doing a job search requires us to step into unfamiliar territory, to stick our necks out, to risk rejection.

I encourage you to realize that you step into unfamiliar territory, stick your neck out and risk rejection pratically every day when you are on the job. Anything we put our heart and soul into requires some amount of risk. We simply become comfortable in our jobs after the first three to six months of training. But if you really think about it, don’t you stick your neck out and risk rejection every time you take on some new project at work? It becomes necessary to stick our necks out in order to make positive things happen for ourselves.

If taking on that kind of thinking doesn’t work for you, how about programming your brain (your brain is your personal computer) to welcome each “no” because it brings you closer to “yes, we would like to offer you this job.” This is a method of looking at the odds. If you put a lot of time and effort into your work search, the odds that you will find employment will be much greater.

In my 30+ years of experience in work search, I can guarantee you that if you want a job, you will get a job. It is simply a matter of time and the more time and effort you put in, the quicker your results as long as you are doing an “effective” job search. That means spending the right amount of time on the right activities. Some spend too much time filling out lengthy applications on-line. Some spend too much time just talking to people. Some spend all kinds of time and money sending out resumes blindly to companies that they would like to work for.

To do an effective job search, you need to know yourself, know what kind of job you want, maintain a focus and use all job search methods, putting as much time into each one as it deserves.

Richard Bolles the author of the famous book, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” (updated yearly) tells us the following about job seeking effectiveness:

Looking on the internet – This method works on average 4% of the time (pick up the book, he explains why)
Posting or mailing your resume – 7% of the time
Answering local newspaper ads – 5-24%
Going to private employment agencies or search firms – 5-28%
Answering ads in trade journals appropriate to your field – 7%
Job Clubs – 10%
Go to local employment office – 14%
Going to places that pick up workers – 22%
Asking for job leads (networking with people you know) – 33%
Knocking on the door (small employers work best) – 47%
Using the Yellow Pages – 65%
Using the Parachute Approach – and that means faithfully following his suggestions – 86%

Reading “What Color Is Your Parachute?” and following Mr. Bolles advice equals getting to know yourself (he puts you through several excercises), helping you discover what kind of job you want, and helps you maintain a focus and know how much time to spend at each job seeking method.

I would say that one needs to spend a bit of time in each of the above methods to have a well rounded job search.

Source: What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles (2015 edition).