The Worst Ways to Find a Job

Man on hill with megaphoneConducting your job search with just a single strategy for reaching potential employers is a pretty good way to stay unemployed.

It would be just as effective to stand on the corner with a bullhorn shouting: "Attention, Employers! I need a job!"

Successful job seekers use many different tactics in their search. Those who don't diversify their efforts tend to struggle. The numbers tell the story:


  • Seven percent of people who only mail resumes as their strategy for finding work actually get a job.
  • Seven percent who only answer ads in their field find jobs.
  • Five to 24 percent who only answer ads in newspapers find jobs, a figure surely dropping alongside newspaper circulation.
  • Five to 28 percent scored work by using private employment agencies or search firms.

Richard Bolles, author of "What Color is Your Parachute?" and a longtime observer of the job market, believes that none of these strategies alone will help you get a job.

He suggests that combining these approaches with others, especially networking, should result in a better chance of landing employment.

Networking Is Key 

Networking with a purpose and cold-calling companies where you want to work are the most effective means of finding employment, he suggests. Those present the most challenging methods of finding jobs, yet the alternative of answering online ads and responding to job boards will likely be equally frustrating.

Unfortunately, no easy path exists to finding a job. You will have to cold-call companies or show up at their offices and ask about employment. You'll have to network in professional groups, at your church, at your local WorkForce Center. You'll have to answer ads. You'll have to do it all, unless you find an opening early in your search.

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