Sunday, June 16, 2013

The 3 Parts of a Successful Job Search – How Many are You Using?

There are 3 parts of a successful job search and if you have been struggling in the search, you may not be using all 3 parts.

Part 1 - Reactive

Most job seekers are very familiar with the reactive job search which is replying to ads when they appear. Although this is a part of the job search, too many job seekers are limiting their approach to replying to ads and have not found it to be very fruitful. Let’s look at why it is not more fruitful:

1) Only 15% of all of the available jobs are posted online. 85% of all available jobs are part of what is called the “hidden job market”

2) According to job seekers who have found a job, this approach was only successful for 30% or less of job seekers

3) Only 10% of resumes make it passed the computer scan and therefore 90% resumes do not even make it to the hiring authority

4) Of the 10% of the resumes that make it to the hiring authority, not all of them are even viewed. For example let’s say there are 1000 resumes submitted for any job. 10% of 1000 is a hundred. Hiring managers do not review all 100 resumes to find the best. The hiring manager glances at a number of resumes (say the first 10), selects the best, and continues this process until they have a sufficient pool of candidates. So even if your resume gets passed keyword software, your resume may not even be seen.

5) A handful of final candidates have already been selected prior to the position being posted. The job is posted to meet EEOC obligations.

Even for those who are using this approach, they may be missing out on some of the strategies available to them to be more successful.

1) Job alerts
Many if not most job boards have a tool called a job alert or job agent. You can set specific keywords and job titles and each time a new job is posted matching your requirements, it will e-mail you a notice with a link to that job allowing you to reply to the posting before the position is taken down from the sites.

2) Using industry specific job boards
Many job seekers are familiar with the major job boards (CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.) and even some aggregators like Aggregators “crawl” other job boards and bring together (aggregate) the listings into one site.

There are sites that are specific for each industry and may be used more frequently by companies to find candidates in that particular industry. Example is a technology specific job board.

You should find and use the job boards specific to your industry in addition to the major job boards.

3) Having a keyword rich resume

The way to get your resume passed the keyword software is to be sure your resume highlights the skills companies are looking for.

Some job coaches recommend you tailor your resume for each application. Judi Adams of RightChanges disagrees. “The resume rings hollow” when it is tailored for the specific job description, according to a recruiter at a recent RightChanges workshop, because it is mimicking back what the job description said. In addition to the problem of the resume ringing hollow, too many job seekers make errors and typos when they recreate the resume each time and that will get your resume excluded.

Instead RightChanges suggests you take 5 job descriptions for the type of job you want as a sample set, even if the job is not in your geographic area, and tailor your resume so it fits the standard for that role and highlights the skills most requested.

4) Having a cover letter that visually highlights why you are a good candidate

Since you are not tailoring the resume for every job you are applying for anymore, you do want to include a position specific cover letter. This cover letter, when done as described, will help get your resume passed the computerized keyword search. In addition, when your resume gets in front of a person, you have done the work for them to illustrate why you are a fit for the position and everyone they send the resume to will benefit from you doing the work for them as well.

When a hiring authority comments on how good the format of your cover letter is, you know you have done something right. Plus it is so easy to write and contains less “I” and “Me” statements and more about how you can help the company.

Here is a link to the previously published article about this powerful cover letter.

5) Networking into the company after applying
Candidates have a 50 TIMES greater chance of getting the job with an employee contact. Fifty times! Why? The reason candidates have a greater chance of getting the job with an employee contact is because you now are more than a flat piece of paper (referring to the resume) and you have an internal advocate that can get your resume sorted to the top of the pile so it is seen.

After you apply for a job with a company, go into LinkedIn and see who you know (or someone you knows knows) at the company who can serve as an advocate for you.

Part 2 of the job search will be published next week and Part 3 the week after. You can join the hundred of others who “Follow” Judi’s blob at with a simple click so you receive these articles and others the moment they are published.

Judi Adams is the Affordable and Successful Job Search Coach, author of an Amazon hottest new release “Found a Job Yet? And Other Questions NOT to Ask!”, and keynote speaker. Judi is also the creator of the YouTube video series “The Five Deadly Sins of the Job Search” that can be found on using FoundaJobYet in the search field. Her blog has been read world-wide since 2009. Judi’s clients have had phenomenal success finding jobs they want by following the steps she outlines for them. For more information on RightChanges 2013 special for the initial hour of coaching, the new “advantage program for students”, and RightChanges other services go to


  1. Dear judi,
    I have come to Piedmont Baptist and hear you speak and everything you say reasonates.

    I found your advice to be supportive and also encouraging, as a result of your lectures and blogs my job searching tactics have changed.

    Thank you for the work that you do . Please keep up the good work!


  2. Dear Judi,

    Your column has some valid points, but the one point with which I disagree is when it comes to tailoring your resume. You are correct when you say typos and errors abound, but tailoring your resume for each job that you respond to makes you as strong a candidate as you can be per that job IF YOU DO IT CORRECTLY. And the way to do it correctly is 1)read the job posting 2) find something in the posting that you can do but is not on your original resume 3) delete something from your resume that has no validity toward the position you are applying and 4) add, in your OWN WORD - not that of the posting - the part of the posting that you can do but was not on your resume. By following those 4 simple steps, you will not "ring hollow" when you change just a few words and you will be a stronger candidate.

    Arlen Crawford