Career Change's aim is to help both adults and school students to set clear career directions to give you a sense of purpose and direction.

Effective Ways of Getting A Job!

Back to article search
Russell Booth

Some people just seem to keep missing out on the job that they really want.  They seem to do everything right but either someone else was better qualified or had more experience or someone the boss already knew got it.  Yet there are people who seem to get the job that they want.  So what do they do that’s different?  In his book ‘What Color is Your Parachute?’ Richard Bolles ranks the various job search techniques in terms of their effectiveness of getting people jobs.  Knowing which methods are more effective will make a difference to your success rate – but it does take time and effort. 

Less effective job search techniques

Using the internet and mailing CVs randomly out to employers are the two techniques that consistently fail to work effectively.  They rate between 4-10% in terms of effectiveness where between 4 and 10 people out of a hundred get a job using these techniques.  Many of us use the Internet to look for jobs – but few of us are successful in applying for and securing a job using the Internet.  Bolles does qualify this by saying that this increases for some industries like IT, engineering and health – but on the whole the success rate is pretty low.

Job seekers also spend a lot of their time looking at advertised jobs in the newspapers or on the Internet.  He rates the effectiveness of answering local newspaper adverts at between 5-24%.  Using a private recruitment agency is about the same in terms of effectiveness.

Most effective job search techniques

Simply by asking your family, friends or others in your community if there are any jobs going at their work has a 33% rate of effectiveness and even speculative knocking on an employer’s door, Bolles says is 47% effective.  The rate of effectiveness rises to 69% if you use the phone book to identify places you want to work and then call the employer to see if they are employing staff.  This increases to 84% if you call an employer and ask about jobs you can do and do well. 

However, the technique that Bolles rates at 86% successful is the one that will take the most time and effort as there are several steps to it. 

Firstly, you need to identify what skills you enjoy using and are good at.  Employers like winners and your CV should show how you have used those skills effectively in an organisation to either add value and/or to make a positive difference. 

Secondly, you need to know exactly where you want to work – you know the type of industry and work environment you will thrive in.  People often decide what they want to do – but pay little attention to the environment they will do well in. 

Thirdly, they research the organisation they want to work in through the Internet or by asking friends and family.  They find the names of people in the organisation that they need to talk to and who have the power to hire them.  If the six degrees of separation theory suggests that anyone on Earth can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances with no more than five intermediaries – how many does it take to find such a person in a place you want to work in?

Finally, they are clear about what they can do for the organisation and how they might be able to help the employer.  Even though employers are busy – they still want to meet people who are confident, can solve their problems and can add value or a competitive edge to their organisation.  They know how to call people up and what to say to them because they rehearse it through in their mind time and again.  Not only are they clear about telling employers about themselves but they are ready to answer a favourite question employers ask prospective employees ‘tell me what you know about us?’

Most of all these people don’t rely on luck.  They make sure that they purposely put themselves in the right place at the right time and then say the right things.