Did you know that successful job seekers don’t treat finding a job as a “fulltime” vocation? According to the recent national study conducted by the Career Advisory Board established by DeVry University, this is one of the many misnomers from the data collected from the study which included over 550 active and passive job seekers in the U.S.
This survey conducted by the university’s Career Advisory Board, in March, included successful job seekers between the ages 18-60 years old and surprisingly showed that 45% of the respondents spent less than an hour a day on their job search, while 47% spent less than three hours a day looking for a job. This result surprised the career experts who have in the past advocated a “full-time” job search effort.
So what are successful job seekers doing to find a new job? And, why are they getting hired quicker than their counterparts? What are they doing differently to land a job?
Here are some of the results from the survey of the successful job seekers:
- They are selective and focus on specific targets by choosing fewer companies and positions to apply for, with more than one-half surveyed saying they applied for five or fewer positions, while two-thirds said they applied for ten jobs or less. They felt that matching their qualifications with the job requirements was important and ninety percent wanted to be at least 75% qualified for the job they were applying for. This approach was highly effective as one-third of active job seekers were interviewed for 50% of the positions they applied for.
- They customized job applications by reaching out to the contact person to find out more about the position and then submit résumés that contain keywords and skills that are listed in the job description which led to more interviews.
- They don’t hide behind digital outreach. They use every opportunity they can to connect and to be seen. Most respondents from the survey did not uncover job opportunities via social media and only 33% used LinkedIn occasionally. Instead, they used a mix of search methods, such as querying friends/family and reaching out to business contacts to inquire about companies they were interested in. They also attended in-person networking events, conferences and industry gatherings to meet potential contacts at these companies.
- They kept a detailed file on each potential opportunity. This includes a weekly to-do list after researching, identifying and contacting target companies.
- They created or updated their résumé to include key words or skills listed in the job description once an interview had been secured. Prior to their interview, they researched the company’s website, Googled the company and presented specific examples of how their skills matched up to the job description.
- They sent out a thank you note via email following the interview.
According to Alexandra Levit, the co-founder of the Career Advisory Board, author and workplace expert, there was no age difference on how the successful job seekers used social media, which was a surprise to her. It appears that all age groups were savvy with social media. She found that they also were willing to relocate and to take a job that may not be a “perfect” fit for them. Rather than being unemployed they ended up in many cases “settling” on a position rather than their dream job.
The bottom-line for job seekers is the process of finding a job is rapidly changing. Getting as much face-face time with potential employers as possible is important. The key is to not work harder, but smarter. Also the path to career success is to stay in the job market to build you skills and desirability for a potential employer.
For more information on DeVryUniversity’s study, check out Career Advisory Board.