How Has the Job Search Changed?

How Has the Job Search Changed?

Networking is the Name of the Game

In the first blog in this thread, I gave you the background on research I conducted in the summer of 2015 about what was, and wasn’t, working for people in their job search. For those clients who had changed jobs since I worked with them, the first question I asked them was “What was the biggest difference between your most recent job search and other job searches you’ve conducted earlier in your career?”

Their answer to this question was interesting in that it yielded precisely the types of answers I expected. What I didn’t expect, however, was the passion, frequency, and in some cases, frustration with which the answers were given.

If I were to sum their responses into a single word, that word would be NETWORKING. Nearly 30% of the respondents who had changed jobs said that networking was a greater factor than it had been in the past. In that same vein, nearly 8% of respondents said they didn’t have to conduct a job search at all, because their network was such that recruiters and employers contacted them. Another 6% indicated they had experienced more recruiter involvement than in previous job searches.

## Best practices tip #1:

Multiple respondents talked about always being in job search mode; that they never went “in” and “out” of a job search. They were always open to talking about job opportunities; they kept their network active, and they kept their skills and certifications current so they were marketable.

As a direct result of this survey, I created a marketing campaign for my business called “Are You ARFO (Always Ready for Opportunity)?” The campaign includes a five-point checklist people can use to assess if they would be ready to respond tomorrow if a great opportunity fell in their lap. **If you’d like a copy, click here


Another theme in responding to the question about differences in the job search had to do with changes in technology. Many respondents talked about how the job search is now driven by online portals, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and sites such as LinkedIn and There was near-universal frustration with these impersonal processes, with respondents using words like “difficult,” and “a black hole.” In particular, respondents were frustrated with not hearing anything from the companies they apply to in this impersonal manner.

## Best practices tip #2:

Many people focus their job search efforts on job boards and online portals, but clearly these responses indicate that these are ineffective and frustrating. Other research tells us that these posted positions represent only 25% of all jobs available—and they have the most competition, because everyone can see them. Rather, networking allows candidates to have conversations with the right people to open up opportunities for which they are one of only a few candidates, if not the only candidate.

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