Most job lookers searching online, but hybrid method best, experts say

Nikki Grey Contributor
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While young people’s job-searches are routinely conducted almost exclusively online, industry experts suggest that such a narrowly focused effort could unnecessarily slow down a search for employment.

Chris Cordery, a Philadelphia area sales manager for CareerBuilder.com, says recent years have brought distinct changes in how people search for work.

“We are seeing it firsthand at CareerBuilder,” Cordery said. “We see our job searches continuing to increase … and I think we are seeing a definite shift in how people are searching for their first opportunity, or just any opportunity, and they are going online.”

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that people engaging in multiple job-search methods are finding work more quickly than those who narrow the method of their plans too sharply.

“The web can suck you in,” said Vin McCaffrey, CEO of talent management firm Game Theory Group. “You can spend an enormous amount of time and feel as if you are very activity-driven, but if you send out 100 resumes, there are already tons of resumes out there, and it doesn’t mean you will get results.”

McCaffrey did not say going online for a job search is a bad thing, but he said other important and complementary methods may be needed. (‘Travel hackers’ fly for free on government’s dollar, so to speak)

“I think it’s a hybrid … I take this belief that you already know the people you need to know to find a job,” McCaffrey said. “I think it’s interesting that so many people go outside their sphere of influence to find a job, but it’s uncomfortable at times to ask people you know for help … It’s almost easier to ask for help from strangers.”

Research conducted by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University found that college graduates who obtain employment quickly are hired for very specific reasons. The reasons cited include their choice of college major and internship or work experience achieved prior to graduation. The research also concluded that professional networks and contacts who are willing to be helpful were key factors in hiring decisions.

“Far more people use Internet searches in looking for jobs than in the past, but the evidence shows that personal networking is still a major source of job finding — friends, parents neighbors — and it’s probably the most effective way to find a job,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Department of Economics at Northeastern University. (Allegations of corruption, fraud tears town government apart)

The Certified Business Laureate, a standardizing testing company that measures specific business disciplines like finance, marketing and Microsoft Office proficiency, says helping students demonstrate on the job that they can apply a very specific skill they learned in school is critical, and can make a pitch successful.

“Our solution is initially focused on networking,” Eddie Earnest, director of university sales and marketing for CBL said. “By taking the CBL Exam, candidates now have a way to both demonstrate their business knowledge in a uniform, measurable way and be connected to employees at the firms they want to work for.”

“I’d argue that the old adage, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ should be changed to, ‘It’s what you know and who you know,'” Earnest said.