Quiz: What's The Best Way to Job Hunt?

SCENARIO: Your employer of five years just had massive layoffs. You've been laid off and you need a new job. More importantly, you want the right job. What's the best way to ensure that you land a great job?

Here are your choices:

  • Mail out plenty of resumes. The resume blitz is the tried and true way to find a job. You spent the time writing a great one; let 'em see it!
  • Register on the job boards. These boards expose your experience to millions of companies, so you're sure to find a good match!
  • Write a business proposal. Show that prospective employer what you can do -- propose they expand their business... by hiring you!
  • Network with former co-workers. They know who you are and what you can do, so your former co-workers can help find the right job!
  • Check the classifieds. Your local newspaper feature local companies that are hiring today, so finding a good job should be easy!
  • Create an online social network. Get active on Facebook and LinkedIn, post in forums and start a blog. Get visible to find hidden opportunities!

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The following strategies are generally ineffective:
  • Mail out plenty of resumes. I hate to tell you this, but nobody reads resumes any more. If they ever did! Resumes get thrown into a big pile and then get thrown away. Even more so when they're emailed, in which case they just get deleted.
  • Register on the job boards. I asked Nick Corcodilos, author of the professional's job hunting classic "Ask The Headhunter" what he thought of job boards like Monster.com, Careerbuilder,com, and TheLadders.com. His observation: "Job boards are a rip-off. Companies only hire about 3 percent of their employees on these sites. TheLadders.com is probably the worst. The claim that they're finding jobs at the $100k-plus level is nonsense. They can't and don't deliver the goods."
  • Network with former colleagues. Obviously, if you have contacts outside of your current employer, they may be able to help. However, your former co-workers are either in the same boat as you (i.e. they just got laid off) or they're dealing with the stress of trying to do more with less and the "survivor's guilt" that they didn't get laid off. Chances are they won't be much help.
  • Check the classifieds. The problem with the classifieds is that the only way to respond is typically to send a resume. And that resume goes to the HR group, which is basically clueless anyway. And -- I hate to tell you this -- most of the jobs that are posted in newspapers are actually filled by people who have inside connections with the hiring company.
  • Create an online social network. I'm a bit of an iconoclast when it comes to social networking. Most blogs don't get read and most "online communities" have an anonymous flavor to them. While I'm certain some people have found jobs by getting involved in this, there's a real danger that you'll just end up looking lame. Especially if you start a blog, enter five posts and then give it up -- the usual behavior.
And that leaves the only truly effective method, which is Write a business proposal.
Finding a great job is EXACTLY the same thing as finding a great customer. You research the target market, you look for companies with pressing needs or missed opportunities, you build a list of the right contacts, use your calling skills to get through decision-maker, and write a business proposal that shows the financial case for hiring you.

In other words, you should treat your job hunt as if it were a sales campaign.

Because it is!

BTW, if you're looking for some GREAT information on job hunting, check out Nick's site AskTheHeadhunter.com. It's chockablock with truly amazing and useful information and advice.

READERS: Got any job-hunting stories you'd like to share?