Comparative Effectiveness of Job Search Strategies

Effectiveness of job search strategies

The following job search statistics came from What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles and studies done by Harvard University and the U.S. Department of Labor. Remember these statistics as you decide which methods to use and how much job search time you allocate them.

Emphasizing the job search strategies that are proven most successful will help you to find work faster.  (Note: The percentage total is more than 100% because the statistics do not all come from the same study; they do, however, give good indications of which methods are more effective than others.)

  • Contacting employers directly and contacting personal contacts (Up to 74.5% of job hunters find jobs using these methods)
  • Using the Internet for computer-related jobs (45% success rate–Bolles’ personal estimate)
  • Asking friends for job leads (34% success rate)
  • Asking relatives for job leads (26.7% success rate)
  • Using your school’s placement/career services (21.4 % found jobs)
  • Using executive search firms (15% found jobs)
  • Using federal/state employment service (14.7% found jobs)
  • Answering classified ads (up to 14% of job hunters find jobs using this method)
  • Asking a professor or teacher for job leads (12.1% success rate)
  • Contacting employment agencies (up to 12% found jobs)
  • Answering ads in professional journals (8.3% found jobs
  • Attending job fairs (8.2% found jobs)
  • Using the Internet for non-computer-related jobs (2% success rate–Bolles’ personal estimate)
“The Internet is merely an added dimension to the traditional job search, and it is not an easy dimension to add. Job hunters need to focus less on the search for job listings and more on the idea of using the information accessible on the Internet as a tool for researching organizations and finding possibilities.”Margaret F. Dikel, author of “The Riley Guide”