What is the most effective and efficient way to go about finding a job? For job seekers and career coaches alike, this is a constantly live question, and while the data is incomplete here are some clues to help:

First, let’s look at how employers recruit staff. Recent  data from the Department of Employment  shows that the three most common methods of recruitment used by surveyed employers in 2013 were advertising on the internet, using word of mouth to spread the word about a vacancy (this category includes employers directly approaching someone about a job opportunity) and putting a job ad in the newspaper.  Many employers used more than one recruitment method.

The following table provides more information about this:

Recruitment method % of recruiting employers
Internet 32%
Word of mouth/ approached applicant 29%
Newspaper 28%
Approached by job seeker 14%
Advertised/ promoted within business 9%
Recruitment Agency 7%
Job Services Australia/ Job Network 5%
Sign in window/ billboard 4%

Source: Department of Employment, Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences, November 2013


Second, let’s consider some data about the steps taken by successful job seekers to find a job. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in July 2013 the most commonly reported step taken by successful job seekers was  ‘had an interview with an employer’ (64.8 per cent of successful job seekers), followed by ‘wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work’ (56.6 per cent), and ‘looked at advertisements for jobs on the Internet’ (51.6 per cent). Again, most people will use a combination of these approaches to find their next job.

Steps taken by successful job seekers %
Had an interview with an employer 64.8
Wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work 56.6
Looked at advertisements for jobs on the Internet 51.6
Answered an advertisement for a job on the Internet 41.8
Contacted friends or relatives 30.4

Source: ABS, Job Search Experience Australia, July 2013

When we look at these 2 sets of information, it is clear that the commonly held belief that direct approach to employers, referral through networks and contacts and information obtained informally by ‘word of mouth’ are very important factors in job search success. Therefore, your ability to do these things will greatly improve your chances of coming to the attention of employers, meeting them and being hired!

And now a word about LinkedIn. There is no doubt that the Internet is playing an increasingly important part in recruitment and job search, and that LinkedIn is being used more and more by organisations to identify good candidates.  Things that  recruiters will commonly look for are candidates who currently work at a particular company, those with particular skills, candidates from a particular industry and/or are from a particular city. There is a lot of good information out there about how to create a strong LinkedIn profile and if you are seriously into job search or thinking about your next career move, it is important to get this up to date.

Finally, I want to reiterate 3 other really important factors in successful job search:

1. Know what you are looking for. In other words do some serious thinking about what you want your next job to be and why. This will help you to be more targetted, more efficient and more successful in your job search. If you are really unclear about this, it is definitely worth investing in the services of a qualified and experienced  career coach.

2. Update your resume and adapt it to each  job you apply for and every employer you approach.

3. Polish up your interview skills – understand what your skills are, how they are of value to an employer and why you want to work for them. This is just as important for an ‘informal’ meet and greet as it is for a formal interview. Again, a skilled coach can help you with the whole job search process.

For more tips and thoughts about how to be successful in your job search, please take a look at my tip sheets: Fast Track Your Job Search and 10 ways to Future Proof Your Career. You can also send me a question and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Good luck and please be in touch if I can help – Carole

carole 006