Internet survey results:
Unemployed: What's your job hunting strategy?
Since the 1930s, career professionals have concluded that the way jobs are filled and the way most people seek employment are different. In his best-selling job hunting book, Bolles asserts that the methods used the most by employers when filling jobs are the ones which job-hunters use the least. Specifically:
Our own work with MBA students has reinforced an over-reliance on resumes and the internet for finding jobs. We were interested to discover if our and other career professionals conclusions were universal in today's economy where job security is no longer a given.
During the third quarter of 2004 we asked those who visited our web site to participate in the following survey: What would you do if you lost your job today? Participants were asked to select the top three activities they would use; the three least important activities; the three they would need most help with; and the three they would need least help with from the following list of sixteen.
One hundred and forty one people responded to our survey. No definitions were offered for the sixteen activities nor were any demographic gathered about the respondents. When reviewing the results one could argue that because the respondents participated in an on-line survey, they are more comfortable using the internet than the average person.
With these limitations, the overall conclusion is that the career professional are right those seeking jobs are not acting in tune with the way employers find candidates. This is the rank-order of importance of the sixteen activities the respondents indicated they would start with if they lost their job today.
Monster.com boasts 25 million(+) resumes, (10/22/04) but only 4% of all job hunters who go on line find a job on-line.
92% of 5,000 recruiters and hiring managers surveyed said they are inundated with irrelevant responses the ease of posting online is now the job seekers greatest obstacle (Associated Press 1/19/03)
An estimated 80% of all jobs occur in the hidden job market, that is, they are never publicized jobs they are filled by informal contacts.
80% of the people in the nation work for companies that employ sixty or fewer employees these employers depend on networking and referrals, they don't advertise.
Small companies (employing fewer than 100 employees) have created two out of every three new positions since 1970, even in the worst of times.
A reality of the career profession the single most important way of finding a job that fits your unique skills is through contacts family members, friends, peers, mentors, or from contacts your contacts know. Experience indicates that some reasons for contacts being rated so low are:
We don't have a process or the discipline for storing and regularly communicating with our contacts.
We don't know how to communicate or relate with our contacts without appearing to be a nuisance or superficial.
We limit our potential data base of contacts to immediate friends.
Fear of rejection keeps us from personal interaction with our contacts its psychologically hard to pick up the phone.
The good news is that respondents give a high ranking to their financial survival. This might lend credence to the argument that in a crisis situation, the priority is to get your finances in order and get busy send out resumes and search the internet. This is not the time for reflection about ones transferable skills and revitalizing ones contacts. We would suggest that there is a false sense of accomplishment; jobs are not found this way. And, we would also agree that reflecting on and defining ones transferable skills and managing an active contact process should not wait until crisis time. Hopefully this will motivate some of our readers to consider these activities now while they have the comfort of an on-going pay check.
Center for Coaching & Mentoring, 2009
Contact Matt Starcevich at firstname.lastname@example.org