Even as jobs become harder to find, too many job-seekers rely on a tunnel-vision strategy that makes use of only one or two job-search methods. That strategy may eventually land you a job, but it's likely you'll spend more time being frustrated than interviewed.
So should you rely on job fairs, Internet job boards or social media for employment leads? The answer for most successful job-seekers is all of the above and then some.
A multipronged approach makes the best use of your time and energy. Check out these eight ways that people search for jobs.
8 ways to job hunt
- Internet job boards
- Career consultants
- Recruiters, private agencies
- Job fairs
- School career placement
- Government services
1. Internet job boardsMainstream Internet job boards such as Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com were once the go-to resource for job-seekers.
Although these job boards have been around for about 15 years, they are quickly running out of steam, in part because there are fewer jobs to post and overwhelmed employers often take jobs offline after receiving thousands of resumes in a single day.
Monster.com advertises on its Web site that it has over 70 million personalized accounts. So if you're not first in line once a company posts a job, it's likely that your resume may turn into digital vapor, says Todd Bermont, author of "10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search."
"Maybe 5 (percent) to 10 percent of all people get jobs through a job board," he says. "It's not to say it's a waste of time, but you don't want that to be your sole job-seeking activity of the day."
Bermont, whose job-hunting courses have been featured at the University of Chicago's Graham School and at Loyola University, says employers often look at the first 100 or so resumes while the rest fall by the wayside.
Job-seekers may be more productive using industry-specific job boards. Job-hunt.org is a good resource for finding these Web sites.
2. Networking through personal contactsPersonal contacts are the most effective way to job search. More than 80 percent of jobs get filled via referral, says J.T. O'Donnell, a career strategist and consultant based in North Hampton, N.H.
Networking means more than name dropping. "It's not who you know, it's who knows you," she says.
Whether you're using social networking Web sites like LinkedIn or Twitter or personal referrals, it's important that people know your strengths, skills and the value you bring to a company before they refer you, says O'Donnell.
Be specific about the kind of companies you want to work for and why you're interested in them. It will help your personal contacts have a clearer sense of who you are and make it easier for them to refer you to the right person.