Career Development Networking The Job Search

If You Want a Job, Spend Less Time Looking for One

What’s the difference between the employed and unemployed?  The simplest answer is that the employed must be doing something different that the unemployed are not.  I guarentee you it isn’t spending more time on job boards.

Opportunity Cost
When you spend too much time on job boards searching for job openings, you burn up lots of time you could be doing other, more productive things.  This is the idea of opportunity cost defined as the cost of any activity measured in terms of the best alternative forgone.  In this case, what are the better activities forgone?

What’s the Alternative?
Instead of spending so much time browsing job boards, do more networking, work on a personal project, volunteer, start a business, freelance, work on your portfolio, practice your interviewing, or join a professional association.  There are so many other activities more productive than searching on job boards that will benefit you and increase your likelihood of finally landing a job.  Most of these suggestions will give you more experience to put on your resume, allow you to meet people who might be able to point you out to jobs in the unadvertised market, or better prepare you to compete once you finally get an interview.  It’s amazing to me how many people say they are looking for a job who don’t do anything to stay active when they are unemployed or who have been pounding the job boards searching for their dream job but who haven’t actually built a strong portfolio or resume with the required experience to submit once they find it.  Those who land the jobs they want most work hard doing all the things necessary to make themselves stand out – they don’t spend the majority of their time searching for job postings.

With Whom Should I Network?
It’s no secret that the best way to find work is through networking but with whom should you be networking?  Career Xroads, a staffing firm, conducts a Source of Hire survey which reveals the top sources of candidate referrals for companies.

The latest survey revealed the four most effective sources of referrals to be:

  1. Current Employees
  2. Company Alumni
  3. Vendors
  4. Customers

Knowing this, you should be strategic about identifying these types of individuals with whom to network for companies you are targeting.

You may also want to read:

  1. 5 Things Your Resume Won’t Do For You
  2. Why Portfolios Aren’t Just for Creative Jobs
  3. Networking: Making Contact vs. Making Connections
  4. Get Experience to Make Your Resume Match Employer Needs

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