Finding Jobs Without the Want Ads, Essay Example
Today, employment agencies and companies make people believe that the only way that one can get a job is by registering with recruitment companies and searching for open positions online. However, there are other ways of finding a suitable position as well, without investing money and time in registering with multiple agencies. According to Quint Careers (Hansen, 2012), “Only about 5 percent of job-seekers obtain jobs through ads”. Social media engagement, networking, and offline search has been proven to be just as effective for searching for the right job as registering with agencies and companies online.
Hansen (2012) clearly states that one of the most common misconceptions regarding job hunting is that “Want Ads and Other Job Postings Represent the Majority of Jobs Available” and “As Long as You’re Sending out Cover Letters and Resumes, You’ll Get Interviews”. While recruitment agencies make job seekers believe that these beliefs are valid, statistics show that they are far from the truth. Below some of the job searching aspects without the “want ads” will be covered in detail.
Steps for Finding the Right Job without the Want Ads
A recent Business Insider article (Giang, 2013) states that “job seekers spend an average of 49.7 seconds before deciding that a job isn’t right for them, and an average of 76.7 seconds if they feel the posting matches their interest and skills”. Therefore, job-seekers who are not clear about their needs, expectations, and limitations are wasting time making a decision about offers. When searching on the internet, the job-seeker would only have a limited amount of information available about the position, the working environment, and this makes it hard to make an informed decision. Searching using word of mouth methods or networking, however, would tell people more about what the position really covers, what the atmosphere of the workplace is, and what types of benefits or career progression opportunities are available. Joining industry discussion boards, forums, and reading insightful blogs would benefit all job seekers trying to find their ideal position.
The first question that the “Choosing a Career” leaflet of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) recommends to ask one’s self is: “How does the occupation fit one’s skills and interests?” It is the job-seeker’s responsibility to find the job that best fits their expectations and needs, as recruitment agencies do not take into consideration personal preferences and expectations. They work on a commission, and their goal is to fill the position according to their client’s expectations. As Hansen (2012) confirms: “Recruiters will not market job-seekers to companies; instead, they try to fit job-seekers into well-defined positions with the companies that employ their services”. Their interest lies with their clients, and not the job hunter. It is hard to find the right job online, as Giang (2013) confirms the results of a recent study: “In the short amount of time that the study’s participants spent on job postings, they were only able to identify good fits at a rate of 38%”. Networking and asking about positions, therefore, is a more effective way of finding a job that is a good fit than looking through “want ads”.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012) lists careers that have the most new jobs. Choosing a job that fits one’s interest and has a high demand for new personnel is a good way of evaluating opportunities. The handbook lists the top occupations that are likely to demand more workers in the next 10 years, with the median salary, as personal care aides, registered nurses, and retail salespersons. There is also a demand for cooks for private households, industrial psychologists, and mathematical scientists.
The fastest growing occupations, according to The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012) insulation workers, industrial psychologists, interpreters, and diagnostic sonographers. This indicates that many people could be looking for occupations that have high demand, and they have transferable skills for. A bilingual person, for example, could simply take a short course for interpreting, and potentially get more job satisfaction from their new occupation than the old one. Coming up with an idea, however, is not enough. Researching the market, creating a social media profile and portfolio, reaching out for companies is the key to success. Emphasizing one’s transferable skills in online profiles and on cover letters is important when one is looking for a career change.
One might not think that “There are many skills (such as communications, leadership, planning, and others) that are transferable and applicable” for a new career, as well as their current job (Hansen, 2012). The author also lists some common transferable skills that job-seekers can use to change careers or fields of work, such as negotiation, editing, effective communication, creating reports, conflict management, maintaining deadlines, organizing schedules and enforcing policies. Checking which occupations need one’s existing skills will help setting a target, and reach out to potential employers. As an example, a qualified cook might seek a home catering position, if they are looking to reduce their hours, the stress level, and would like more flexibility: they will be fully qualified for the job, and might be selected, if they emphasize their transferable skills when they reach out to prospective employers.
Set a Target
In order to know the target salary and career, it is important to rely on statistical data, to make sure that the new job will pay enough to cover the bills and expenses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013) has employment wage estimates in the United States. As an example, the median hourly wage of a web developer is $30.37. Looking at the statistics is important, however, there are other aspects of a job that one needs to consider. Travel time is important for all job hunters, but those with family commitment, it is even more so. Benefits, such as private pension, company car, health insurance should always be considered when creating a list of features one would like their job to have. Finally, another important thing is the attitude and flexibility of the management, and this information cannot be obtained through traditional “want ads”. All companies try to show their best aspect in the advertisements, and the reality can only be found out through networking and word of mouth information gathering.
According to Saylor’s (2012, p. 313) guide, each “position should disclose the starting salary and the requirements for that starting salary”, and it needs to be considered before setting realistic salary and position targets. The career guide of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012, p. 1) recommends job hunters to ask themselves the following questions: “How much does this occupation pay? What do the top 10 percent earn? The bottom 10 percent?” Further, the guide recommends that those actively seeking a job speak to those who work in the same occupation, and can provide insight into what the day-to-day activities are, what they like and dislike about the job or company, and seek advice for directly approaching the company.
Ask Around and Target Companies in the Industry
Shane (2013) states that “80% of jobs right now are not posted on job boards – they are only accessible through networking, or word of mouth”. Further, according to a recent Jobvite research (Jobvite, 2014), 64 percent of employers believe that referrals provide the highest quality of employees, while 59 percent thinks that the right source is social networks or corporate career sites. This means that referrals would be more trusted, and more likely to result in a job interview/offer than applying for a job through an employment agency’s website, or the company’s own recruitment page. Social job seekers, according to Jobvite (2014) know how to sell themselves, and 76 percent of them found their current position through Facebook. While this is a high figure, it is also important to note that there is a need for advanced networking, profile creation, and communication skills to be implemented in the process of finding the right employment through social media, and finding companies to target.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is the company that allows people to put out their professional profile for employers to see, including references and endorsements. LinkedIn endorsements have a great impact on companies’ decision whether or not to offer an interview. The study also confirms that 93 percent of employers look at one’s social media profile before making a decision. This means that job-seekers need to appear professional, not only in their CV-s and cover letters, but also in their profiles. As a result, 40 percent of people who were looking to find a job through social networking modified their profile, while 17 percent deleted specific content, and 12 percent untagged themselves from photos.
The report also tells job hunters that there is an opportunity offered by LinkedIn as a professional social media platform: “While 94 % of employers are active on LinkedIn, only 36% of job seekers are” (Jobvite, 2014, p. 14). This indicates that those people looking for jobs who are active and have created a professional profile on the site are more likely to be offered a job or approached by companies with a proposal without looking through hundreds of “want ads” than those who are not on the site. The report also concludes that “4 in 10 job seekers have found their “favorite or best” job through personal connections” (Jobvite, 2014, p. 6). This means that looking through people one knows personally or through professional networks online and offline can save time on job hunting, and help finding the right position.
Shane (2013) states that “word of mouth remains the most effective way people learn about things, information, companies and the people who are behind them”. As Hansen (2012) confirms quotes one of the interviewees using a large job board to apply for “wanted ads”: “Many multi-level marketing companies post positions as ‘Director of Marketing’ or ‘Marketing Manager’ with realistic-appearing job descriptions, but the rub is that the ‘job’ offer is a veiled pitch for their networking marketing ploy”. Indeed, in “wanted ads”, companies can hide the true nature of the job, while they cannot do the same when one searches through personal recommendation or social media. In many cases, prospective employees need to “vet” the company to make sure that they are real, and the position exists.
This results in a great level of frustration, and the loss of personal motivation. Unwelcome solicitations and misrepresentations, according to Hansen (2012) are more likely to happen on the internet and in print newspapers’ “wanted ads” than in person. Further, it is also important that the job seeker has control over the application process, and they know what is going on at the company regarding filling the position. When applying for “wanted” ads, it is almost impossible to find out enough information to successfully follow up the application or interview. In some cases recruitment agencies placing the ad even keep the name of the hiring manager secret. The lack of personal interaction and communication directly with the employer results in the lack of trust on both sides.
Comparing applying for “wanted ads” and seeking for employment utilizing one’s professional and personal network, using networking and finding potential employers instead of sending one application after the other has superiority. As Hansen (2012) states: “When you post your resume, you become a target for recruiters who don’t necessarily have a good job match for you”. This problem can be avoided by taking an active position, and finding companies that might have suitable positions that they are looking to fill based on recommendation and networking, and without the “wanted ads”.
The above review has revealed that traditional “want ads” have several limitations, and they are not always designed to help the job seeker land in the right job. Social networking, and word of mouth job search has been found far more successful and accurate when looking for a position in any industry. Reviewing statistics, it is evident that the majority of positions are currently not advertised on online and print job boards. Companies prefer to choose a person they can connect with on a personal level, and those who are providing more than a professionally written CV. However, it is also important that job seekers are aware of industry trends, their goals and expectations, and set clear targets for their job search.
As it has been revealed, many people browsing through “wanted” ads have a difficulty with deciding whether or not it is the right position for them. On the other hand, Hansen (2012) revealed that there are several misinterpretations in online and offline job board ads, which can be avoided if one uses social networking and word of mouth job search. Professional organizations’ blogs and forums, discussion boards can provide insightful information for prospective employees about the industry and companies expanding. As the research study by Jobvite (2014) revealed, 4 in 10 people found their “best fit” position through personal connections.
One should, however, not forget about the power of social media, either. The majority of companies with an open position, not placing “want ads” in local newspapers or online recruitment sites search for candidate profiles on LinkedIn. Maintaining a professional profile on all social media sites, getting LinkedIn endorsements, and networking with people who work in the same industry can be a more successful job search strategy than registering with various agencies and applying for job board advertisements.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013) May 2013 national occupational employment and wage estimates United States. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#15-0000
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012) Most new jobs. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011) Choosing a career. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/k12/content/teachers/pdf/choosing_a_career.pdf
Giang, V. (2013) Why you keep applying for the wrong jobs. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-job-seekers-look-at-job-postings-2013-5?IR=T
Hansen, R. (2012) Strategic portrayal of transferable job skills is a vital job-search techniques. Quintessential Careers. Retrieved from http://www.quintcareers.com/job-hunting_myths.html
Hansen, R. (2012) 15 myths and misconceptions about job-hunting. Quintessential Careers.
Jobvite (2014) 2014 job seeker nation report. Section one: job seeker nation. Retrieved from http://web.jobvite.com/rs/jobvite/images/2014%20Job%20Seeker%20Survey.pdf
Saylor (2011) Six steps for job search success. Retrieved from http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Six%20Steps%20to%20Job%20Search%20Success.pdf
Shane, D. (2013) How to use word of mouth effectively in your job search. Careerealism. Retrieved from http://www.careerealism.com/job-search-word-mouth/
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