When you’re looking for a job, it’s only natural to want to open yourself up to as many opportunities as possible. However, applying to all the seemingly relevant help-wanted ads you see is a major career detour.
Only one in ten jobs is actually advertised, and only one out of ten of those are any good. Newspaper ads especially represent the bottom of the barrel: entry-level jobs, high-turnover positions, straight-commission sales, scams, government agencies paying lip service to EEO hiring…the list goes on.
But most job hunters devour the Sunday paper and online job postings as if they will actually provide something. Don’t feel bad if you’ve done this – no one’s probably told you otherwise. But the world’s changing, and so are job-search methods.
If you are in a job search, my suggestion is to spend no more than five percent of your time with want-ads. You can do this by narrowing down your list to the top 10 jobs that seem desirable to you, and then really going after them. Don’t just send a cover letter and resume, call them to find out what the position really is, and go from there.
Learn more about this topic in my book, From Roadkill To Roadmap.