Proof the Offline Job Search Still Works

The Street Smart Job Search\” I\’ve been telling people for years that you can\’t simply hide behind a computer and email out a resume. You must make a human connection. A business research company called Whale Path recently  conducted a survey to find out how employees found their employees. I\’m happy to say that my gut instinct was right all along and gives me some proof that the offline job search still works. According to Whale Path\’s findings, the majority of job seekers under the $50,000 pay range found their jobs through offline search. The new number of 46% of people found their jobs that way, which is up from 2008. This proves that your search must become a more referral-based job search. Anyone who has grown up with the Internet might not be able to imagine what the job market was like before it came along. It was much more personal. The thing is that people hire people they know and like. Period. As an employer at a small startup company, I can tell you that this is even more important. I can\’t afford to hire the wrong person. And a resume or email alone doesn\’t tell me anything about their personality, their problem solving skills, or anything about how they will relate to other people. A job interview is like a first date. You\’re always on your best behavior. It takes really knowing someone for a long time to get that information. And since you don\’t have years to get to know someone before hiring them, the next best thing is a referral from someone who has known that person for a long time. The things that I look for in an employee can\’t be determined from a resume or email. This comes from knowing a person\’s work ethic and personality, neither of which translate on paper. So, it seems if you\’re looking for a job, and especially one under $50,000 a year, tooting your own horn to everyone you know through an offline job search just might help you land a job.    

How Different Generations Conduct Job Searches

When a baby boomer friend was searching for a job, his elderly dad said \”Look in the newspaper classifieds\”. Since I haven\’t picked up a newspaper in quite a while, I\’m not sure they even still have job listings there.

With so many people unemployed in all age ranges, it made me curious how different generations conduct job searches. I was surprised to hear that Boomers use social networks more than Gen X and Gen Y, who tend to go with Google +.

All generations value job security, which seems to be harder to come by these days. Boomers tend to gravitate towards more meaningful work, while millennials value a higher salary and more flexibility.

Job seekers in all generations spend between 5 and 20 hours a week looking for a job. As a small business owner and freelancer I spend twice that amount of time looking for work, because the minute you finish one job you have to start looking for the next one. You\’re always juggling the clients you have, and at the same time you\’re always looking for more clients and customers.

What surprised me the most is that 95% of all job seekers in all generations were searching online, while spending only 5% searching offline. This leads me to think that we\’re losing the ability to connect to a real, live human being. People are actually surprised when I call on the phone. I like to make some kind of human connection first.

I still believe the best way to get a job is by meeting someone face to face. The one thing you can never get across in a text or email is personality. If I\’m hiring someone, that\’s the number one thing I want to see.