Why Your Job Search Strategy Isn’t Working

strategyHow long have you been looking for a job? If it’s been a while and you’re feeling a bit depressed and disheartened, this post is for you.

Is it time to change your strategy?

What  strategy have you been using? If it’s searching the papers and looking at job boards that’s NOT an effective strategy.

You might think that’s what job searching is about, that it’s about APPLYING for jobs.

It’s not. That’s just one small part of it.

This is what your strategy should look like in order of priority:

1. Networking

2. Helping others

3. Hanging out on LinkedIn

4. Getting on the radar of relevant recruitment agencies

5. Looking at job boards and applying for jobs

Notice that I put looking at job boards and applying for jobs right at the end of the list. Why did I do that?

Because this component should only comprise of a small amount of your time – say 10 to 20 percent.  It might be a hard thing to get your head around if your strategy has normally consisted of only this but if it was effective, would you be reading this post?

There are several problems with the look at job boards and apply for jobs strategy when used on its own.

One, you’re competing with who knows how many other applicants. When I was a recruiter I used to receive  in excess of 100 applications for some roles. Which meant that not all five star candidates were even invited to interview. Not because I created an extra star and wanted six star applicants but because the VOLUME of applicants was so great!

Two, the roles you apply for may no longer be available. Often organisations already have an internal candidate in mind when they advertise. Why do they advertise the role then? Sometimes  company policy requires this or they want to check out what the market is like (just in case).

Three, focusing on applying to advertised roles is an in-efficient use of your time and frankly it’s a boring way to go about getting your next role.


Networking, can be a much more fun way to find your new role (yes, even if you’re an introvert).

So, let’s say you’re down with networking and you’re going to take on this strategy. Excellent.

Start by:

  • Catching up with people that you know. Talk to friends, family and ex-colleagues about what sort of role you’d enjoy and ask them who they can refer you to. Or better yet – ask them if they can make an introduction.
  • Meet the people that your friends, family and ex-colleagues have referred you to and ask them who they know
  • Attend industry events
  • Volunteer your time and help others. It’s a great way to build your network

By building your network and helping others you’ll hear about unadvertised opportunities and you’ll be steps ahead of those that only apply to  the advertised roles they find on the job boards.

Need help using this strategy? Book in your FREE discovery call  and find out how I can help you reach your career goals in 2015.

Put in the work

Finally, ask yourself if you’re putting in the WORK.

How is your day broken down? How much time are you spending on the search?

One of my favourite quotes by Maya Angelou is:

“nothing will work unless you do.”

So think about this quote for a minute  and BE HONEST. Are you REALLY working it with your job search? Or are you half heartedly fluffing around and sending out your resume here and there and when you don’t hear back after five days you give up and think ‘what’s the point?’

Follow the blueprint above, get out of the house and meet people.

Put in the work and you’ll be well on your way!

Photo credit: deposit photos

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