- Jobs websites
- Recruitment agencies
- Newspaper jobs pages
You may be quickly successful at finding your new job with these sources, after all, they are advertising real, current vacancies (usually!). However if you can find these job ads, so can thousands of other people, and these people will comprise your competition. So, are there ways to increase your chances of success?
In short, the answer is yes. Experts suggest that when we look for jobs we typically take one of two different approaches:
1. passive job searching (ie., one of the above methods), OR
2. active job searching
In a recent study, 1,000 job searchers were studied to understand the approach they took to job searching and their corresponding success rates. The study found that 25% of the sample adopted active job searching methods, the remaining 75% relied solely on traditional, passive sources. They found:
- Active job searchers were far more optimistic and proactive, typically using five or more sources for job searching. Passive job searchers used three or less.
- Active job searchers were very focused on what they were looking for; passive job searchers tended to browse.
- The average length of job search for active job searchers was 4 months; the average for passive job searchers was 7 months.
- Active job searchers were applying for 8 jobs a month and getting 2 interviews a month. 65% of them had applied directly to the employer.
So, what is active job searching?
Taking an active approach means adopting a different mindset or attitude to job searching, and being targeted and proactive in your activity. The following are typical active job search sources:
- Research companies within your defined job market and apply directly to them
- Use your contacts – let people know you’re in the job market and be clear to tell them what you’re looking for. Don’t ask them for a job – ask them to keep their ears and eyes open for you. Look for referrals and opportunities
- Network! Look out for networking opportunities within your targeted job market and attend them
- Use social networking media, particularly LinkedIn. Use these to let people know you’re out there, that you have expertise and to encourage contact
Networking usually tops the list of activities people feel least comfortable doing and yet we know that it is the single most effective means of getting a new job when used effectively. Use of business media such as LinkedIn enables you to utilise similar benefit from networking if the face-to-face variety is not for you.
- target your job search and create the opportunities – be proactive not reactive
- use a variety of sources and regularly review their success rates
- use your network – it is always larger than you may at first think and may very well include the link to your next role.
For both active and passive job searchers, networking was reported as the number one most effective source of securing their last job. In order of use, it was down at number 7!
No one method is 100% successful. It therefore makes sense to use a combination of passive and active sources for your job searching. Remember to keep your progress under regular review; if after a period of time you have not been successful, change your approach.
Using on-line, written reference material, questionnaires and worksheets our career transition programmes enable you to make effective progress while benefiting from the ongoing support and guidance of a career coach.
If you could do with help in job searching, get in touch to see how we can help.