Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter shares some of his observations about working with recruiters and applies it to job hunting.

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In my career, I’ve trained a lot of very successful recruiters. I’ve also trained some people who have washed out.  I put my best effort to try to help these people. But, when push comes to shove, ultimately, the onus falls on them to follow through a lot of the coaching that I give. Often, the biggest failure is around effort.

Most people (including job hunters in this) say they want to do a hard days work and they want to put in. Best effort. They want to be successful BUT when you examine what they do, they are not working as hard as they think they are.  That is true of job hunters, too.

How People Find Jobs

For you as a job hunter, statistically, people are finding work in a number of ways.  Consistently, statistics show, the job boards fill between 3% and 4% of all positions.  Recruiters fill an additional 20% to 22%.  I’m going to combine the numbers because some recruiters use job boards to find candidates.  And I will add a little more than that.  So, let’s assume that 30% are filled by job boards and by recruiters.  

70%, though, is filled as a result of networking.  In a recent statistic that I heard, 70% that of those jobs (70% of the 70%) or filled as a result of a network connection to someone that they didn’t know at the beginning of the job search.

Here’s the point.  You are not working as hard as you can to find people to connect with and develop a relationship with in order to become 1 of those people in the 70%.  What you need to be doing is putting in a “Max effort.”  You need to try that much harder, to operate at a much higher capacity than you are now.  I’m not saying to work like a maniac.  You need to have some fun and there, too.  At the end of the day, you need to kick it up some notches. You need to put yourself out there with some people you are not really talking to yet.  You need to track these relationships so that, in this way, you remember your conversations, what your commitments are and follow-up… Stuff flows along those lines… When push comes to shove, you have to kick it up. Some notches.

Again, it’s not who applies to the most jobs on the job board.  You are swimming in the lake with a lot of hooks out when you’re swimming in job boards.  There is a lot of competition with other fish in their for that hook.  You want to be out there swimming in streams and rivers that have hooks out there, but not a lot of fish there. This way, you are able to swim up and be able to connect with the organization.  In addition, you need to be able to come in with a referral from someone you know.

Do you think employers are trying to help you?

You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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