Are You Wasting Your Time Looking for Work?

If you are looking for work, are you spending the majority of your time using the most ineffective methods?  We recently conducted an informal poll and the results may indicate that what used to work for an effective job search may no longer be as effective.  Unfortunately, many people currently looking for work may still be using techniques that may be outdated and inefficient. 
The goal for any job seeker should be to get back to work as quickly as possible.  The longer you remain unemployed, the harder it is to find work.  Even if the work you find is irrelevant to your career path, doing something quickly is better than doing nothing at all.  It is always easier to find a job when you have a job.
Last month we conducted an informal poll and we asked the simple question, “How did you find out about your current (or most recent) job?” The respondants were given 5 choices and could only choose one answer. Here is what we found out. (262 people responded to our poll)
  • 41% found their job through somebody that they knew.
  • 30% found their job through a Recruiter.
  • 22% found their job through an online ad.
  • 4% found their job through a newspaper ad.
  • 3% found their job through a job fair.  
When I talk to job seekers, I typically ask them how they are conducting their job search.  The overwhelming majority are searching for work mainly from newspaper and online job advertisements.  What surprised me from the results is that most efforts are spent on the things that yield the least results. People who are actively looking for work typically spend most of their time going to job fairs, reading the want ads in the Houston Chronicle or surfing online ads through Monster and CareerBuilder. Yet those efforts yield results less than 30% of the time. What’s even worse, those same efforts tend to consume the majority of the time spent looking for work. 
Most people tend to focus on responding to ads because it’s the path of “least resistance”.  It’s easy to submit resumes online and hope for a phone call from an employer requesting an interview.  The truth of the matter is that when you submit your resume on newspaper or online ads, you are competiting with possibly hundreds of people responding to the same ad. 
Looking for a job in today’s economy takes a lot more effort.  A job search is a numbers game.  The more contacts you make, the more calls you make, the more resumes you send out, the better your chances.  An effective job search combines multiple stratgeies.  Just make sure you are spending your time on those activities that will yield the greatest return.
To review the results of our survey, click here.
Tim Cook is the founder and president of PathFinder Staffing, an oil and gas recruitment agency located in Houston, Texas. The recruiters at PathFinder Staffing specialize in placing oil and gas professionals at all levels including engineering, design and drafting, project controls, business desvelopment and sales, project management, accounting and finance, engineering managment and C-level positions.  Visit our web site at for more information about us or to register.
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  • 21 Dec, 2010
  • NewPFS

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