Quality vs. quantity

Are 65% of job seekers luckier than their peers? No. They just have better leads, meaning ones with better-than-average chances of leading to interviews. Most leads — those found through traditional search methods — don’t yield many interviews. Why? Because they are passive approaches to the job hunt. Answering want ads, using placement agencies and mass-mailing résumés are essentially passive exercises because, once you correspond with HR departments and employers, you must wait for them to contact you. And, the odds aren’t very good that they will respond with an interview opportunity.

  • Ads in newspapers elicit hundreds of responses, so the numbers dictate that less than one-thirtieth of those respondents will ever get an interview-let alone a job!
  • Employers usually specialize in certain fields or industries, which means that you must match up before you are even considered for placement.
  • Furthermore, out of every 100 job seekers who use this method, only between 5 and 24 will find a job thereby. That leaves 76-95 people who won’t find jobs through employers.
  • Just sending out résumés can be a waste of time. If your résumé ever makes it anywhere other than the back logs of an electronic database, your chances of getting a job are approximately 7%.

Why are these numbers so low despite the leads being so plentiful? Competition: These jobs openings are advertised to the general public so everyone-and-his-mother can apply for the position. The numbers simply aren’t in your favor. Employers can conduct only so many interviews, which means that the first thing they must do is weed-out 90% of the applicants. Having more leads does increase your chances of being the one person in ten who actually gets an interview. But, how many times will you be lucky enough to be that person? Maybe twice, three times…

Most openings are with smaller organizations. The most recent data suggests that about 70% of all non-governmental workers now work for small employers. These are employers with 250 or fewer employees. It follows, moreover, that most of the new jobs in our economy come from small organizations, and this has been true for some time now.

These facts have a number of consequences for your job search. Smaller employers tend not to have personnel offices, so asking to fill out an application or send in a résumé to the personnel department just doesn’t make much sense with them. And, because there are many more small employers than large ones, they are often harder to find or even to know about.

Even larger corporations have begun to decentralize, passing along hiring decisions to smaller local branches, which are too small to have an HR department. The Result: Larger organizations act more like small ones in the way they hire people. Hence, the traditional job search approaches — namely, the passive ones — are less effective than ever.

Question: How does one locate these jobs and/or get interviews with these companies?

Answer: By utilizing your network of contacts to make his or her availability and qualifications known to people who have the power to hire him or her.

That is, by networking…