The Easy Way To Job Search vs The Effective Way

Aug 1 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Which would you choose? The easy way to job search or the effective way?

Sure, few people like the pain of job search and would like an easier path. But would you take the easy path, even if it wasn’t effective?

If you’re like most job seekers, you choose easy job search methods, even when they aren’t effective.

Think about it … If the easy methods most job seekers choose aren’t effective, then in the long run the activities are easy to accomplish, but finding a new job becomes more difficult.

First, it’s helpful to recognize easy job search that’s ineffective in today’s market. Let’s discuss three examples.

Which of these easy but ineffective job search tactics are you using?

  • Sending standard resumes: Sure, sending a stock form resume (the same one you’re sending when applying to other jobs) is easy. Even sending a resume with some minor tweaks is easy. But it’s not effective today, when applicant tracking systems are used to find an exact word match for 7-10 criteria. Customizing your resume is difficult, but the more you customize for the specific job, the better your chances of winning interviews and jobs.
  • Using stale information: Why would you use stale information? Because you can find all sorts of outdated information easily in job descriptions, Google searches and company websites. Finding current information is more difficult, because you find it by talking to employees of your target company. While it’s more difficult, it’s vastly more effective.
  • Applying through job boards and company websites: Applying through job boards and company websites are easy ways to apply – once you’ve loaded your resume onto a job board, it takes less than a second to press submit. However, these are about the least effective ways to apply for a job – according to research by the world’s largest job board, CareerBuilder. CareerBuilder reported that only 10% of new hires come from job boards. Since an average 1,000 candidates apply for each job advertised, this means that you and other 1,000 competitors that applied through an ad (or website) share a 10% chance that one of you will get hired. When you do the math, you’ll see that the 1:10,000 chance you get by applying through an ad is horribly ineffective.

This seems crazy … why would you choose job search methods that aren’t effective?

I don’t think that job seekers intentionally choose easy over ineffective. But I do find there are some definite reasons that almost every job seeker out there ends up using easy job search methods that aren’t effective.

Here are 4 reasons job seekers choose easy job search over effective job search methods:

  1. You’re used to an easy job market of low hanging fruit: Of course you’re used to lots of low hanging fruit. From the 1940’s until 2007 there was a shortage of candidates, so your past job searches were all about finding easy jobs using easy methods.
  2. Job shortages vs Candidate shortages: In 2007, the job market changed to job shortages. Employers behave very differently during job shortages than they did when there were candidate shortages – making different decisions of who to interview/hire and using different hiring processes. Chances are your job search hasn’t reflected these major changes.
  3. Traditional job search education: We’re all used to traditional job search methods, designed around easy job search methods when there were candidate shortages. The foundation of our job search knowledge comes from when we graduated college/grad school from our college placement office (or HS guidance counselors). Traditional job search is reinforced by many of the free career resources that exist today, including government, community, church, and alumni resources, outplacement – also many recruiters, career authors and even career coaches haven’t updated their advice to reflect today’s job market. These are the job search rules of thumb that we’re all familiar with, but which aren’t designed for a market of job shortages.
  4. Steps vs Goals: Job seekers tend to focus on the individual steps they need to take, and like most human beings take the path of least resistance. However, the easiest steps lead to difficult job search goal attainment. But job seekers rarely look at the whole picture, because you rarely set up job search project plans. If you did, and compared the easy activities to the difficult steps … you’d realize that the more difficult steps lead to easier goal attainment – an easier, faster path to your next job.

Examine your own job search methods …

Are you taking the easy way out, but the way that’s not effective?

Or are you taking the time up front, to take the more difficult steps, that lead to an easier job search, a faster job search, and less frustration?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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