Jobs are not where you think they are

Only 15 per cent of jobs are posted on job boards


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CALGARY, Alta. Jan 29, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Let me guess what your job search day looks like. You trudge down to your computer, sit on your keister all day, work your fingers into a knot applying for job after job, chase down rabbit holes researching, waiting desperately for the phone to ring (and it never does). You’re exhausted by day’s end, yet you can’t put a finger on anything that you’ve actually accomplished.

How do I know this?

I’m no clairvoyant; I know through personal experience (errors and frustration) and research. Almost everyone goes about looking for a job incorrectly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re lazy or don’t want a job; it’s that the vast majority of job seekers have no clue how to get a noticed in today’s job search world. (Neither did I.) We all rely on what has always worked in the past as if time has stood still. It hasn’t.

Job search has evolved and is continuing to do so at an increasingly fast pace. Think about it: 20 years ago you would take out the classified section of the Sunday newspaper and, with a red pencil (why was it always a red pencil?), you would circle jobs that were perfect for you, craft a perfect cover letter, attach it to your resume, drop it into an envelope and march down to the postal office. Then, within two or three days someone with two eyes and a brain would read it.

That seldom happens today . . . heck, most people don’t even get a newspaper today.

In 1994, online job boards began to emerge, starting with [popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Monster[/popup] and quickly followed by [popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]CareerBuilder[/popup] and HotJobs. (Talk about evolution, HotJobs has evolved itself out of existence.) The job aggregators ([popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Indeed[/popup] and [popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Simply Hired[/popup]) became the next best iteration.

Today, the job search darling is [popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]LinkedIn[/popup], and it’s only 12 years old. While the first half of its existence was relegated to Silicone valley tech geeks, it has since evolved into a 300-million-member behemoth.

But like all entities, it has an end-date too.

Jobs are not where you think they are, at least not the majority of them

According to Forbes, CNN Money and The Wall Street Journal, the posted job market (jobs posted on job boards, aggregators, company websites, social media sites such as Twitter & Facebook, LinkedIn and others) only account for 15 to 18 per cent of the total. That leaves over 4/5ths of all jobs that are never posted. That means we spend a disproportionate amount of time where the jobs are NOT!

Out of nearly 100 citations in my book, the most staggering statistic I discovered was a study of the job search habits of three generations of people in transition: Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials. [popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″][/popup] found that each of the three generations spend in excess of 90 per cent of their search time online and between 77 and 87 per cent of that time on job boards!

Think about that:

  • Only 15 per cent of the jobs are posted on job boards (Forbes)
  • Yet we spend somewhere near 80 to 90 per cent of our job search time on Boards (
  • All our competition is doing the same thing as us and
  • Your chance of getting noticed through Online submissions is only five per cent (recruiter/author Abby Kohut)

Do you find something wrong with this strategy?

Wouldn’t it be a smarter move to invest more time going after the 85 per cent of jobs that are never posted . . . the mysterious Hidden Job Market that everyone talks about? The question is how?

Well, a LinkedIn profile is one way, but if you want to get found, yours must be full of the keywords that are being used in Boolean searches. You need to “Out S.E.O.” your competition. And that’s only the start.

When in job search mode, you need to outwork your competition.

Do you have a Marketing Plan (aka Business Plan)? You would if you were trying to get funding for a new business venture, and how does looking for a job differ from any other new business venture? A one-page Marketing Plan can be your tool for friends and acquaintances who know you, but don’t really know you. A Marketing Plan explains in some detail what you do and what you are looking for. It can also include target industries and companies.

Are you using Marketing Brochures? These can take many forms and are limited only by your level of creativity. They can be Bi-Fold, Tri-Fold, Multi-Fold, using one or two sheets of paper showcasing your Value Proposition. You can use video, PowerPoint or flip charts or electronic devices. And there’s much more.

What are you willing to do to get a job?

Troy Media columnist Al Smith is co-author of the Amazon Top Rated book [popup url=”” height=”600″ width=”800″ scrollbars=”0″]HIRED! Paths to Employment in the Social Media Era[/popup], a Keynote Speaker, Career Coach and Resume Writer. Al is included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by all Troy Media columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Troy Media.

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