Education Career Services

January 16, 2009

Graduating Students Beware: The Least Effective Ways to Find a Job (Part 1)

Submitted by Steve Klubock, Career Management Specialist for over 20 years:


“You need to know where you are going, but what’s more important is knowing how you are going to get there. Then you can be sure to arrive.” This was probably the greatest piece of advice I heard from my father. Many job seekers embark on their search with nothing more than a hastily prepared résumé and some job board addresses. Do they have a career plan? Are they competitive on paper? In order for clients to get where they want to go, we need them to understand the in-effectiveness of their job-searching strategies and teach them to utilize a comprehensive, 360-degree approach.


Let’s address the five least effective ways to find a job.


1. Job Boards – “Click and Wait” Searching

In the mid-90’s, massive job boards launched, providing a link between job seekers and employers, and luring a considerable amount of professionals. Job boards are a very passive way to search for a new career because job seekers have little control over who contacts them.


The success rate of finding a job through the Internet is 4%.According to Forrester Research, 4 out of every 100 professionals who use the Internet as their only search method for finding a new position will get a job. (This means that the other 96 job seekers are unsuccessful).


2. E-mail Blasts

Sending out tens, hundreds, or thousands of resumes via email to employers at random increases the success rate of finding a job through the Internet from 4% to 7%. I found one study that figured 1 job offer resulted for every 1,700 resumes submitted. Interestingly, this same study indicated that there were reportedly a minimum of 40,000,000 resumes floating out in cyberspace at any time.


3. Answering Ads in Professional Trade Journals or Industry-Specific Websites

This search method, like blasting, has just a 7% success rate. Why is that? Well, there are nowhere near enough positions posted to match the number of job seekers attempting this method. It’s a big variation of supply versus the demand.


4. Answering Local Newspaper Ads

Although their success rate increases with this approach to 7%-12%, the fluctuation between 7%-12% is attributed to desired salary, and success increases with lower income brackets. The probability of their chance to find a position by answering local newspaper ads is higher than using an online search because fewer professionals approach this method- and so, there’s less competition.


5. Using Employment Agencies or Search Firms

The final most ineffective way of finding a job is through employment agencies and search firms. This method has a 5%-28% success rate, trending upward for those professionals with low salary demands and specialized skills- meaning recruitability.


Part 2 (Monday, January 19) examines the comprehensive, 360-degree approach in detail and offers hints which will help any job seeker find a better position faster…


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