The Five Best Ways to Hunt for a Job

Thursday, August 6, 2009; 5:41 PM

We turn now to the five best ways to hunt for a job, in my forty years' study of this field. If your job-hunt stretches on for weeks or even months, these are the strategies I recommend you start with, in case your energy runs out before you've finished working your way through all eighteen methods. I will list these five in reverse order. That is to say, I will save the best one for last. We'll start with #5.

#5: A 33% Success Rate

You ask your network for any job leads.

Method: You ask them one simple question: do you know of any jobs at the place where you work-or elsewhere? You ask this of your family. Your friends. Former professors or teachers at any school you ever attended. Business associates. Anyone and everyone you know.

Success Rate: This search method has a 33% success rate. That is, out of every 100 people who use this search method, 33 will get lucky, and find a job thereby. Sixty-seven job-hunters will not-if they use only this method to search for work.

Payoff for Using This Method: If they know of any vacancy in a field that interests you, they can introduce and recommend you. You don't walk in as just a stranger.

Biggest Problem with This Method: The vacancies, if they know of any, may not be in a field that interests you. But you may be tempted to try to make yourself fit the job, rather than making the job fit what it is that you want for your life.

My Comment: You may think a success rate of 33% doesn't deserve to be called one of the five best ways to look for a job. I agree, but it's all relative. "The fifth best" out of the eighteen job-hunting methods that are out there, isn't necessarily saying much. But to put things in perspective, do note that this method's success rate is almost five times higher than the success rate for resumes. In other words, by asking for job leads from your family and friends, you have an almost five times better chance of finding a job, than if you had just sent out your resume.

#4: A 47% Success Rate

Knocking on the door of any employer, factory, or office that interests you, whether they are known to have a vacancy or not.

Method: You go after places that interest you, preferably small employers (100 employees or less) rather than the large behemoths.

Success Rate: This results in finding a job for 47 out of every 100 people who use this method.

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