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Job Hunt Basics: Lesson 2

18 March 2010 Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz No Comment

(This lesson continues where Lesson 1 left off.)

The Worst Ways to Find Work.  The Best Ways to Find Work

So what’s the basic information do you need to get you through your job hunt. For this I’m going to start with information from a book every job hunter needs on their bookshelf. Better yet, they need it face up, open on their desk with a whole lot of bookmarks and highlighting showing how hard it’s being used.

Talk to anyone with an HR background and they know the book. It’s Richard Nelson Bolles’ “What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career Changers“. Bolles releases a new copy every year updating the websites and statistics included in the book. I’ve kept my 2007 version only because I refuse to part with it.  It’s got my margin notes and dog eared paged throughout marking sections I need to find quickly.

The book is so good, I included it in my Three Gotta Read Books for the Serious Job Hunter article. You can see also see another two articles I’ve written using material from the book at:

For this lesson, I’m going to talk about chapter one.  It has the information you need right away.  It covers the five best to look for work and five worse worst ways. He does it not so much so you can pick the method or method(s) you think will work best for you, but to shed light on the hiring process. The better you understand it, the better you’ll be able work with the process instead of against it.

So here they are.  The five WORSE ways to look for work are:

  • Using the Internet
  • Mailing out unsolicited resumes
  • Answer ads in professional or trade journals
  • Answer local newspaper ads
  • Employment agencies or search firms

The five BEST ways are:

  • Asking friends and family for job leads
  • Knocking on doors of employers where you want to work
  • Identify companies via phone book then calling for positions
  • Job clubs via phone book then calling for positions
  • Doing a life changing job hunt

(There’s an entire section of the book dedicated to the last one.  It’s a lot of hard work, but its the ideal way to go at a job hunt.)

Here’s the explanation of why they came out this way.  Let’s consider what a hiring manager does when
they have a position to fill.  They first go to their co-horts around the office looking for people on the payroll they could pluck for their position.  That’s every hiring manager’s best case scenario.  Internal candidates understand the organization.  They know what works, who does what and understand their corporate quirks and culture.

If no one in the company is available or if no one has the specific skills they need, what do that do?  They ask their friends, family, acquaintances and professional peers. A hiring manager wants to have a connection to a candidate. This relationship, even if it’s barely a connection at all, is better than nothing.  It helps avoid dealing with HR to  – oh no – post a the job on some Internet job board (i.e., Monster, Ladders, Indeed) or wanted ads.  (Do wanted ad  still exist?)

Some companies rely on recruiters for candidates. When you get right down to it, what exactly are they doing? They are so intent on getting candidates through some sort of relationship that they go out and pay for it. I’ve been on the hiring side of this and I know I want to avoid thumbing through piles of resumes from a job board at all cost.

Here’s the biggest advantage of getting possible candidates through personal ties.  If I get a crummy candidate from someone I know, I can call them and complain about how incompetent their referral was.  My experience is that  most people won’t pass a resume along to someone in their circle of contacts unless they feel comfortable the person meets some minimal standard.

So what’s the message I’m leaving with you?

Do not depend on the job boards. Network,network, network! I can’t emphasize that enough. At Career Jockey, I have about two dozen networking articles.  Take a look at them to help you start down this road.

I highly recommend Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” for developing your networking skills. You can read my Never Eat Along book review for more information on the book.

That’s all I have I have for today.

Hope this helps

Next lesson – Do Not Go at It Alone – Get the Help You Need


Jorge Lazaro Diaz

Jorge Lazaro Diaz is the "Original" Career Jockey who started this blog and now serves as the Managing Editor. You'll find he enjoys focusing on professional and personal development articles and frequently covers motivational and spiritual topics.

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.

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