459: Job Hunting

How did you find your current job (or, how are you looking for a job)?


Full episode script

If you’re looking for a job, you’re not alone. In April of 2017, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were 6 million open jobs, and 6.8 million people looking for a job. Those jobs and those job-seekers aren’t perfectly matched, but it might be heartening news if you are looking for a job.

What may not be quite as hopeful is the fact that the Department of Labor estimates that up to 80% of positions are filled without employer advertising. Those jobs are instead filed by employers who find candidates through other means.

According to a 2011 Forbes article, A study of 59,133 successful job seekers by a company called Right Management found that networking was far more successful than other job search methods. Forty-one percent of jobs in this study were filled through networking in 2010, 45 percent in 2009 and 41 percent in 2008.

Some estimate that number at even higher. The president of one career service told NPR in an interview:

“At least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published. And yet most people — they are spending 70 or 80 percent of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.”

It’s not to say networking is the be-all end-all. There are jobs to be had out there by applying and selling yourself as a good fit for the company — but those weak social connections — the friend of a friend type connections — may have as much to do with your success as the quality of your cover letter.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.