Diversifying Your Job Search

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.”

You saw an ad for an upcoming job fair. You pre-register convinced that the companies listed in the ad are going to be there with real jobs. You make extra copies of your resume, put on your best suit & off you go, ready to conquer the world.

But a funny thing happens when you get two blocks from the venue. The street is packed with cars, but being the opportunist that you are pull into the parking lot only to all the parking stalls are full. You park 3 blocks away, turn the corner to the entrance & “oh my” there’s a line of people just like you that snakes around the building.

It’s then that you realize you would have better spent your time re-arranging your sock drawer.

How many Job Fairs have you attended expecting to find the ideal career position with the ideal company only to find the venue & parking lot packed with the unemployed all hoping that this is going to be their day; only to be disappointed because there weren’t any. If you’ve gone to enough job fairs you will find the same companies attend job fairs with no real jobs in their arsenal.

I think that most candidates fall into 3 categories.

1.      The recent starry eyed college graduate.

2.      The candidate who’s collecting unemployment & attending to fulfill their unemployment requirements.

3.      The candidate who’s attending just to get his/hers spouse off their back.

According to Richard Boles in his book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” If all you do is attend Job Fairs you have a 8% success rate of finding a job. Here’s some more eye opening numbers from Bolles book.

  • Mailing out resumes to employers at random. 7% success rate.
  • Answering ads in professional journals in your field. 7% success rate.
  • Answering local newspaper ads. 5-28% success rate, depending on salary.
  • Private employment agencies/search firms 5-28% success rate depending on salary.
  • Going to Job Fairs and places where employers pick out workers, 8% success rate
  • Taking a Civil Service Exam, 12% success rate.
  • Asking a former teacher/professor for job leads, 12% success rate.
  • State/Federal Employment Services Office, 14% success rate.Bolles wants you to know that the odds of these methods working for you are really bad and if they are not working for you you will not take this quite so personally. The most effective methods are:
  • Asking for job leads from family, friends, community contacts, career centers at high school or college where you graduated. 33% success.
  • Knocking on the door of any employer,  factory or office that interests you, 47% success rate.
  • Using the Yellow Pages to find employers in fields that interest you and calling those employers to ask if they are hiring for the job that you can do well, 69% success rate.
  • In a group with other job hunters, using the Yellow Pages to identify employers in fields of interest to you and calling those employers to ask if they are hiring for jobs you can do well, 84% success rate.
  • Doing a life-changing job-hunt, 86% success rate.
  • So, why go? Because you need a job & you’re willing to go to any length to find a position.

    Here’s some numbers to think about. The Job Fair runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 (4 hours) The parking lot holds 500 visitors. If the average stay is 1 hour that equates to 2,000 people coming through the front door. This doesn’t even take into account the surrounding streets that are packed with attendees, let’s says that about 100 spaces, so now you’re looking at 2,400 attendees all running through the gauntlet of companies with no time to get into a meaningful conversation with the companies representatives Whew, I’m tired already.

    This is a great example that if you’re not diversifying your job search your chances of landing a job you’re not doing yourself any favors.

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