On October 16th I had the thrill of appearing on Windy City Live’s morning television show in Chicago. I served as a guest recruitment expert on their Find Me a Job segment. The goal was to help Megan Abner with her job search. I’d like to share insight from that segment and a bit more!

successful job search

Watch the Segment

Much of the discussion with Megan and Ryan Chiaverini, the show’s host, centered on the how people can best improve their chance of a successful job search — by understanding how their demographic influences where they should spend their time and allocating it appropriately. Many people, these days, have become reliant on the Internet and feel the tool will solve the world’s problems. There’s no doubt it aids many, but ignoring some of the other most potent avenues significantly handicaps the job-seeker.

Demographic factors such as your age, profession, and income level, affect the likelihood you’ll find a job through various means. While these statistics can be delineated many layers deeper than I’m about to cite, most individuals would benefit greatly from a heavy dose of networking. Based on statistics we gather from our candidates, we’ve discovered that if you’re under 50 years old or earn less than $100,000 annually, you have a 27% chance of finding a job through your personal and professional network. If you are over 50 years old or earn more than $100,000, you have a 46% chance. Simple math would indicate that a person in the latter group should spend approximately twice as much time networking than a person in the former group. Statistics such as these and others can help you outline a balanced “searchday” to optimize your chances of a successful job search.

Irrespective of your demographic, you should include activities such as:

  • Networking with friends and professional colleagues (provides high probability as cited above).
  • Creating your online resume using professional networking sites such as Linked In (providing an additional 8% chance of success based on the high monitoring from companies and recruiters).
  • Researching companies and positions that fit your interests.
  • Applying online for positions that match your qualifications (providing a 44% chance if you earn below $60,000—if you are, in fact, qualified).
  • Performing additional activities as appropriate such as volunteering (10% chance) or working with recruiters (5% chance).

Based on some of the demographics highlighted earlier, you might allocate your “searchday” accordingly:

Under 50 Years Old or $100,000

  • Network with friends and professional colleague: 35%
  • Research companies: 25%
  • Search online for published opportunities: 15%
  • Apply for opportunities: 20%
  • Work with recruiters/volunteer: 5%

Over 50 Years Old or $100,000

  • Network with friends and professional colleague: 50%
  • Research companies: 30%
  • Search online for published opportunities: 5%
  • Apply for opportunities: 5%
  • Work with recruiters/volunteer: 10%

Keep in mind, there isn’t a perfect formula. You’re simply trying to increase your chance based on the probability of finding a job through the different channels. As important, keep a positive attitude because that often leads to the greatest success of all.