In a workshop I went to they said that job boards and posted jobs account for some 14% of hires, as opposed to the much higher percentage “networking.” So, focus on networking, right?
Actually, the point of the stats was that if 14% of jobs came from posted jobs, then spend 14% of your time on job postings. Sounds logical, although a bit flawed. Nick Corcodilos, at Ask the Headhunter, told me in an interview that around 2% of jobs are gotten from job postings. Holy moly… that is a super low number.
Why do most job seekers spend most of their time on job boards, when the success rate is SO low? Because it’s much easier than networking. You don’t have to do your hair, brush your teeth, be nice, get out of bed early, or anything uncomfortable to apply to jobs online (as opposed to networking). And, at the end of the day you can say “I applied to five jobs today!” which sounds a lot more productive than “I went to a networking meeting this morning and ate three donuts!”
Let me diverge for a minute. Until I was eleven, I lived in Santa Rosa, California. Back in the ’70s and ’80s this my neighborhood, and everywhere I could bike to, was like the Garden of Eden. There were tons of animals around, and I spent most of my time looking for snakes, lizards, newts, salamanders, and anything else that would fit in a cage or aquarium. It was common for me or my brothers to come home with an animal, our “new pet.”
How did I find animals all the time?
BY LOOKING EVERYWHERE.
I must have turned over thousands of rocks, and rolled hundreds of logs. If it was a rock big enough for a snake to rest under, I turned it over (if I could).
EVERY SINGLE ROCK I COULD.
I was obsessed with finding that next snake, and was especially hopeful to find a California King Snake (my dream snake). I never found that snake… but let’s undiverge…
As you look for your next gig, even your dream job, are you looking “under every single rock?” Or are you focusing on just one area (where most other job seekers focus)? Let me suggest that your (job) hunt looks like my (snake) hunt… look everywhere. Be relentless. Be hopeful. And be ready, when the right one is there, to land it. I was always ready to land that next animal.
Back to job boards… should you spend any time there? Yes. There is a lot you can get out of a job board, including information to help you understand market opportunities and prepare for interviews.
How do you get value out of job boards? Check out Barb Poole’s excellent LinkedIn post titled A 10-Step Strategy for Acing Advertised Job Openings.
It’s not a long post, but every single line can open up a world of ideas on how to include job boards and postings into your current strategy, and get real, significant, immediate value.
I’ve been reading job search posts for over eleven years (since I started JibberJobber), and this is the best post on job boards that I can remember reading. Print it out, mark it up, and figure out how to implement ideas from it every single day.