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Stop Kidding Yourself About Your Job Search

I took advantage of a gorgeous New England fall day to bike a rail trail – a former train track converted into a nicely paved cycling, jogging, and walking path.

As I biked along at a good clip, I passed dozens of people out enjoying the day. But I couldn’t help notice that most of them were strolling, chatting, and not working very hard. Nothing wrong with taking a stroll, of course! But I hope they weren’t kidding themselves that just because they put on their workout clothes and moved their feet, they were actually getting meaningful exercise.

It made me think of job seekers who believe that zapping out resumes, responding to dozens of online job postings, and manipulating their resumes to get past automated screening systems are actually going to lead to interviews and job offers.

Certainly, doing all of those things is better than doing nothing. Just as walking (even strolling) is better than lolling on the couch all day!

But too much easy-but-ineffective activity can lead to frustration, exhaustion, and a sense of helplessness.

The reality is that most people find jobs through referrals from network connections. Candidates who are referred are 14X more likely to get the job than candidates who apply blindly. (Source: Gerry Crispin, http://careerxroads.com/)

It seems harder to use a network-based targeted search strategy, but it is more effective and less soul-sucking. And once you master the process, you might actually enjoy it! Not to mention, you’ll have a skill you can use the rest of your working life.

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