Reboot Your Contact List to Enhance Your Job Search (Part 1)


We live in a truly remarkable time. On one hand, we seem to be more addicted to our smartphones and other computer screens than ever; on the other hand, thanks to the Internet and social media, it feels like we’ve never been more connected as human beings. You’d think finding the job of your dreams would be a snap—you might not even have to get out of your pajamas!

But would you like to know a secret?

When businesses were polled recently to reveal where they most often turn to find job candidates, guess what they said?

Go on. Guess. I’ll wait…

The number one resource business recruiters use to find job candidates, by a wide margin, is still word of mouth referrals.

That’s right: Despite all the technology, all the social media, all the new job sites and all the ways we can instantly transmit our resumes, job recruiters still fill a whopping seventy percent of their job openings by word of mouth.

Not LinkedIn.

Not CareerBuilder.

Certainly not Craigslist.

Word of mouth.

Some firm is looking for an employee with your skills, and a mutual friend recommends you to that firm. You get an interview, you kill at the interview, you get hired. That’s how seventy percent of jobs get filled.

What’s so remarkable about this trend is that it is has stayed so consistent over the years despite all the change around us. The Internet has basically replaced the newspaper classified ads, and it’s also made it easier to apply for jobs—but that’s about it. Otherwise, word of mouth is still the best way to land a great job, hands down. The same as it’s always been.

What does this tell you? It tells you that if you’re sitting around in your pajamas sending in resumes online, scouring the online job sites and thinking you’re running an effective job search…you’re wasting your time and energy. Make no mistake: One of the best resources you have for finding your dream job is your contact list.

So let me recommend an alternative. Rather than take the bait of spending hours a day at the computer, reclaim some of that time to do a reboot of your contact list. Reconnect with old friends, let people know what you’re doing and what type of job you’re looking for. If you’re not part of a business networking group, think about joining one. The idea is that everyone knows someone, and you never know where your big referral will come from. The better connected you are with actual humans, the better your chances are of landing that dream job.

In the next post, I’ll share more details about how to begin rebooting your contact list on a practical level. For now, if you’d like a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your job search needs, feel free to reach out to me using the contact form on this page.