What Is Your Job Search ROI?
Businesspeople are very familiar with the term ROI. The acronym stands for return on investment. Although executives regularly calculate the ROI of a project or initiative, they don’t usually apply this concept to themselves and their job search.
To take a businesslike approach to your job search, ask yourself the following questions.
How much time have you put in to your job search? Clearly in a competitive environment, you cannot simply rest on your laurels. A job search takes time, and you have to put the time in. The flip side of the coin though is that if you are putting in a huge amount of time, but you are not using the right approach, you may have very little to show for all that effort.
How many interviews have you received? This is one indicator of what your ROI actually is. Your job search efforts must result in interviews so that the work you put in to your job search is not in vain. Now of course it is unrealistic to expect that you will land an interview for every job that you apply to. But if you find yourself in a situation where you send out 200 resumes and get two or three responses for positions that are completely unrelated to your field, then something is wrong.
How many job offers have you had? The proof is in the pudding. The whole point of a job search is to get an offer, ideally, more than one. If you have been searching for an inordinately long period of time and have had no offers, you probably need to rethink your job search strategy. You are not getting a return on your investment.
After asking yourself these questions and being honest about the answers, you need to assess what is going wrong with the process. Here are a few possibilities.
You haven’t cast a wide enough net. You may not have applied for enough jobs, which is why your job search may be stuck. Even though you may be highly qualified for the positions that you apply for, more than likely so is much of your competition. Sometimes job seekers rely on the fact that they have never had a problem finding a job before, so they think they should not have a problem now. But this job market is different before. You need to turn over every rock and think outside the box as you job hunt.
You are not allocating your time appropriately. Too many job seekers are over-relying on job boards and even on executive recruiters to find that next position. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, only 13% of positions are filled through job boards. You may have heard before that most people get their jobs through networking. That is still a true statement. While you should try as many job search methods as you can to find a job, you should also try to allocate your time according to the way that most people find jobs. With approximately 80% of all positions being filled through networking, you should spend the lion’s share of your time networking and spend the rest of the time on job boards, executive recruiters, and other job search methods.
You favor quantity over quality. It’s not to your benefit to apply for 200 or more jobs if you are not targeted in your approach. You will get better results if you apply for fewer jobs and make sure that you tailor your resume and cover letter to those positions. More is not always better.
Your job search tools are not sharp enough. Your job search plan, resume, interviewing skills, and salary negotiation skills must be sharp enough to land you a new job in a competitive job market. If you are not up to speed in all of these areas, you may miss out on great job opportunities even If you are highly qualified for the type of position that you are seeking.
Cheryl Palmer is a career expert who has regularly been quoted in The Ladders, the Wall Street Journal, CBS MoneyWatch, and CNN Money. She is a career coach, resume writer, and LinkedIn expert. Download 5 Master Strategies to Land a Job Through Social Media at www.calltocareer.com.