The Simple Truth About Finding A Job

You're looking for a job. Chances are it feels complicated, scary, overwhelming. My job-seeking clients have found the chart below comforting and helpful. It contains the essence of what you have to do.

As the chart shows, a job search consists of four activities: answering ads, pitching your network, contacting target employers and using recruiters. You do more or less of each of the four depending on whether you think it's a good use of your time.

If you have a large and well-connected network, you'll want to devote much of your job search time to using and building your network.

More: How To Keep Up Your Energy For The Long Job Search

If you're comfortable cold-contacting, spend a good chunk of your job search time emailing and/or calling your target employers, trying to get an informational interview, lead on a job or project work, or even a job created for you.

If you have an ahead-of-the-pack work history, are currently employed, and looking for work similar to what you're currently doing, it's worth answering a bunch of on-target ads and contacting recruiters.

If you're out of work and/or a career changer, you'll want to spend little time answering ads. The standard recommendation is to try to convince employers that you have "transferrable skills -- skills used in another context would be applicable on his job. But in today's tight market, that works poorly. If the employer or recruiter wanted someone with little direct experience, rather than going through the rigmarole of placing an ad and screening oodles of applicants, she or he would have hired his cousin.

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Marty Nemko

Marty Nemko


The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Dr. Nemko "The Bay Area's Best Career Coach" and he was Contributing Editor for Careers at U.S. News where he now also blogs. His sixth and seventh books were published in 2012: How to Do Life: What They Didn't Teach You in School and What's the Big Idea? 39 Disruptive Proposals for a Better America . More than 1,000 of his published writings are free on He posts here weekly.

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Zeina Issa

Due to their tax-free salaries, great lifestyle options and relatively low crime rates, GCC countries are indeed a popular choice among expats looking for work. Read more

November 20 2013 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bryn Boyle

It's tough trying to land a job nowadays. For a single position you could be up against hundreds of equally skilled applicants and HM's barely spend six seconds going over your resume. Make sure you get noticed! For my current job I used a graphical CV for my application and it worked! There are several free apps out there which lets you create on easily. Mine I did on my iPad using SHINE app

July 21 2013 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the 47% dont want jobs,they want handouts.

April 12 2013 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the odds of finding a job have become equitable of winning a state lottery. even if you are an excellent
candidate you are now up against thousands of equally good candidates as opposed to the dozens
you would have faced before. just start digging those underground cities so you don't freeze people.

April 12 2013 at 12:26 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The most difficult thing about finding a job nowadays as opposed to as few as five years ago is that you have to sign up for numerous employment websites, look through the site's job postings, submit an application and resume, and MAYBE you get a reswponse to 1% of your applications, and then 1% of those replies are thanking you for your interest in the position, and we may be in touch with you. Then, they DON'T contact you whatsoever. It was so much easier when you could read the want ads in the newspaper, call an employer and set up a face to face interview, and then contact them later on to check on the status.

April 11 2013 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What an ass hat! I don't believe the crap you put on theis site as information.

April 11 2013 at 7:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If you don't already know and understand whats on this chart without looking at it you probably aren't employable anyhow. There is nothing on it that a high school student looking for a job couldn't figure out.

April 11 2013 at 6:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


Do each or all of the above AND

One thing missing: jobs.

April 11 2013 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Someone left out the step that companies need to create more jobs instead of cutting them LOL.

April 11 2013 at 4:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Too many "jobs" and not enough careers.

April 11 2013 at 4:02 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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