Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

WEDDLE’s continuously conducts both primary and secondary research on Best Practices in job search and career self-management. Among the issues we’ve regularly probed is the frequency with which recruiters post new vacancies online. Basically, we wanted to know how many times per month they post jobs outside the career area on their own site.

The responses below were posted between January 1 and April 1, 2007 for the following question: How many times per month do you post jobs on a job board or career portal?.

  • 3% said 0 times per month;
  • 8% said 1 time per month;
  • 15% said 5-8 times per month;
  • 18% said 9-12 times per month;
  • 20% said 2-4 times per month; and
  • 36% said 13 or more times per month.
  • What the Findings Mean

    Employers continue to use a range of strategies-networking, print advertising, career fairs, employee referrals, to name just a few-to search for talent, but posting vacancies at job boards and career portals is clearly gaining in popularity and priority. For job seekers and even those who are just “testing the market,” therefore, it’s important to know how best to tap into this stream of opportunity and give themselves a competitive advantage with those opportunities that are right for them.

  • Openings come and go at warp speed online. More than a third of the recruiters who responded to our poll are posting jobs at employment sites at the rate of better than 3 times per week, on average. Over half (54%), post jobs 9 or more times per month or better than 2 times per week, on average. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on these opportunities, take advantage of the free “job agents” that are offered at about 40% of all job boards. These features go by various names and descriptions, but all basically provide the same service: you input your specification for the kind of job you want and the agent compares it to every new job posted on the site. When it finds a match, it notifies you confidentially so that you can check the opportunity out. In short, a job agent does all of your surveillance work, it works 24/7; and it protects your privacy. It doesn’t get any better than that.
  • You can miss the best openings if you look in the wrong places. While some employers still post all of their openings at a single job board, the vast majority use an array of sites to expand and focus their reach into the workforce population. They are posting their openings at general purpose employment sites (that serve all professions, crafts and trades) and a growing number of niche or specialty sites (that serve a specific career field, industry, location or affinity). In order to make sure you don’t miss out on the postings that are right for you, spend your time online at the sites that best match your employment goals (e.g., the employers for which you want to work, jobs with the salary you want to earn) and personal attributes (e.g., your career field, seniority in the workplace, geographic location, industry experience). The more goals and attributes you match, the greater the probability that the vacancies you see will be the dream jobs you want.
  • You can miss your best openings if you apply for the wrong jobs. Just 3% of our respondents don’t post any jobs online, in a given month, and fewer than 1-out-of-10 post only 1 position. In other words, you have a lot of choice online. You don’t have to apply for the first interesting opening that you see or for every single vacancy that’s advertised. In fact, the key to success is to limit your applications to those openings for which you are the perfect fit-not a close fit, not a wishful thinking fit, but an actual exact fit. They’re out there-more than 2 million new jobs are posted online every month-so invest your time in identifying the handful of jobs where you have the best chance of success rather than applying for lots of jobs where you’re a long shot at best.
  • Please Note: As a part of our ongoing research, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web since 1996. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:

  • what they do and what they don’t do,
  • what they like and what they don’t like,
  • and most importantly,

  • what they think works best.
  • To add your insights and opinions to our research, please visit the Polling Station at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    Section Two: For Your Consideration

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the Interactive Edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2007. You can also find many of Peter’s tips and techniques in our book WEDDLE’s WizNotes: Finding a Job on the Web and in his forthcoming book, Career Fitness: How to Keep Employers From Kicking Sand in Your Face.

    Making Smart Career Plans

    It’s March. Given the way that national parks and resorts fill up, that means it’s time for many of us to start making our summer plans. These holiday excursions and family trips are important events, so almost no one treats them cavalierly. We browse the Internet looking for vacation rentals. We talk to friends and coworkers about the trip packages they bought, the hotels they stayed in, and the restaurants they enjoyed. In short, we invest a lot of time and effort to make sure it all goes well and that we have memories we can treasure for a long, long time.

    Why, then, don’t we invest a similar level of effort in making our career plans? Clearly, they’re just as important, just as central to our happiness this summer (and the rest of the year) and for a long, long time after that. Yet, most of us treat career planning as something only slightly more palatable than a root canal. We do it only when we absolutely have to, and we wait until the absolutely last minute before we do so.

    While there may be several reasons for this aversion to career planning, I believe that just one is the principal culprit. Most of us don’t know what career planning is or what it entails. The prospect of doing it, therefore, seems a whole lot more like work than planning a vacation.

    Now, I won’t try and con you. Career planning does take some time and effort, and the gratification you get from doing it is very different from what you experience lying on the beach getting a tan. But, there are some similarities:

  • A vacation liberates you from work; a career plan liberates you from unexpected changes at work. In other words, a good career plan makes sure you are in charge of what happens to you in the workplace rather than its victim.
  • A vacation enables you to regenerate your enthusiasm and capabilities so that you can enjoy work once you return. A good career plan enables you to build up your enthusiasm and capabilities so that you can enjoy success in the job you have now and compete effectively for the job you hope to have in the future.
  • A vacation lets you spend some time enjoying hobbies, avocations and other interests that you have outside the workplace. A good career plan puts you in a position to spend your time at work doing something that is engaging and rewarding for you.
  • What’s involved in building a good career plan? It takes just four steps:

    Step 1: Figure out what you want to do with your career. In short, what is your objective for that (significant) portion of your life that you lead in the workplace? As fundamental as that may sound, many of us spend our entire careers trying to earn an ever bigger paycheck rather than working to build up our sense of satisfaction and fulfillment at work. The U.S. Bill of Rights doesn’t promise wealth to all Americans; it guarantees them Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That’s what you want to focus your career, your work-life, on-the pursuit of employment in whatever it is that brings you real and lasting happiness-and it’s never too late to start that quest.

    Step 2: Identify your Achievement goal. This is a goal that you can accomplish in the near term, say the next 6-to-12 months. It identifies an outcome you can achieve in your current job or employment situation, such as the completion of a special project, the solution to an especially tough problem or the resolution of strained relations with your boss or a coworker. The Achievement goal enables you to make a meaningful contribution to your employer-that’s the only definition of loyalty that makes any sense in the 21st Century-and be loyal to yourself by advancing your own performance in the workplace-that’s the only way to achieve true career security in the 21st Century.

    Step 3: Identify your Advancement goal. This is a goal that you can accomplish in the mid-to-longer term, say in the next two-to-three years. It identifies the next job you want to hold or the next level of work you want to be able to perform. It may involve your current employer or it may require that you move to another work situation, but it will always represent a major step forward in your effort to develop and express your capabilities in the workplace. Identifying an Advancement goal is the best way to ensure that your career is always moving forward-not up some employer’s corporate ladder-but toward greater skills and experience in the one career field that enables you to pursue genuine and lasting happiness.

    Step 4: Identify your Development goal. This goal is a bridge that connects your Achievement goal and your Advancement goal. It enables you to build on the success you achieve in your current job by adding the supplemental capabilities and knowledge that prepare you to advance to the next challenge in your career. That might involve acquiring a new skill through training or a formal educational program; it might require that you develop greater stature in your field through participation in your professional society or association; or, it might mean that you gain more sight and understanding about certain aspects of your work through discussions with a mentor.

    Once you have these four goals in place, you need to revisit them from time-to-time to see how you’re doing. Just as we sometimes forget to make our plane reservations and thus lose out on that great holiday we’d planned, you can forget to focus on your career goals and lose out on the security, opportunity and, ultimately, the happiness you derive from your work. I call this review process a “personal performance appraisal.” It’s a candid conversation that you hold with yourself every quarter, just to make sure that you are still pursuing your own special form of Happiness. If you keep yourself focused on that outcome, you will always enjoy your career as much as you enjoy your vacation.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    Section 3: News You Can Use

    CollegeGrad.com released the results of its recent survey of college students and their views of various job search techniques. Among the respondents, 59% said the Internet was the best source of employment information, besting such traditional standbys as job fairs, college placement centers and referrals from classmates. Does this mean that you should ignore all other methods and focus exclusively on employment opportunities posted online? Absolutely not. It does mean, however, that the competition for entry level positions posted on the Internet is getting more and more intense. If 100 of your classmates show up to interview with an employer that visits your campus, you can probably expect that over ten times that many will apply for the jobs that company posts at its Web-site and on job boards. How can you distinguish yourself? Practice the Application 2-Step. Follow whatever instructions the employer provides and apply online. Then, network online and off to find a personal contact or someone with who you have a connection (e.g., you’re both alumni of the same school, you’re both members of the same professional association) in the organization with the opening. Ask that person to hand carry your resume in the door and lay it on the desk of the recruiter responsible for the job you want. The first step shows you can follow directions; the second step shows you have the determination to succeed.

    Dice released the latest results of its Tech Topic Poll. When asked to identify those factors that provide the greatest advantage in the workplace, a third of the survey’s respondents said that being a graduate of a well-known and respected college or university was a key factor “most of the time.” Almost half (45%), however, said it was their specific technical skills and experience. What skills did they say were most in demand among employers?

  • For operating systems, they cited Windows and Unix;
  • For databases, they said, Oracle and SQL; and
  • For programming languages, they pointed to C, C++ and .NET.
  • What kinds of employment opportunities were employers advertising? Two-thirds were permanent positions; one-third were contract. The largest single concentration of openings was in the New York-New Jersey region, followed by Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C..

    Yahoo! HotJobs launched a new home page with several new features for job seekers. To capitalize on the immense popularity of social networking, the HotJobs home page now integrates Yahoo! Answers, the parent site’s online community where anyone can ask and answer questions on any topic.. This feature enables job seekers to share job search and career tips and advice with one another, much as they would in traditional networking venues. In addition, the new page includes a Resume Performance module which provides job seekers with resume activity stats and Career Article Links so that visitors can easily find all of the employment-related content available on Yahoo!.

    WEDDLE’s recently received the following note from a reader: “I just bought your new edition of WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites (I buy the new one each time it comes out). As always, you’ve done a great job helping your readers make smart choices among job boards. Keep up the good work!” We at WEDDLE’s cherish these notes as we realize what they represent-the willingness of someone to take time out from their busy day to write and tell us that they appreciate our work. It’s the best compliment a publisher can receive. We just wish more people knew about what we’re doing, so at the risk of overstepping, we’d like to ask a favor: If you enjoy our books, please tell others … as well as us. How? By writing a “review” at Amazon.com. We’d certainly appreciate it, and we think those who read your comments would too.

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