How to Land a Job

If you are a job seeker who has applied to a lot of jobs without success, you might wonder about the best strategies about how to land a job. Thanks to SilkRoad, a consulting company that specializes in onboarding new employees, we have lots of data to answer that question.

Every year, SilkRoad publishes a Sources of Hire report that is one of the best sources of information about how to land a job. Here are some facts from their 2018 report that covered 1,000 companies ranging in size from as few as 100 employees to large enterprise organizations. Their report included 13.8 million applicants and 329,702 hires.

How to Land a Job

Here are the most significant insights from their report about how people land jobs:

Internal Referrals Are Best

An internal referral greatly increases your chances of being hired. The ratios of applications to hires from internal sources are:

Recruiter Sourced –  4:1

Employee Referral – 7:1

Internal Career Site- 41:1

Job Boards Are Competitive

For different online job boards, these are the ratios of applications to hires:

Career Builder – 77:1

Glassdoor – 106:1

HigherEd Jobs – 116:1

Indeed – 130:1

LinkedIn – 148:1

You’ll notice that the ratio of applications to hires is much, much more favorable to the job seeker if the source is internal rather than external.

If you use these major job boards, you are facing a competitive landscape. You can increase the odds in your favor by targeting your resume for specific positions you are pursuing and being strategic about filling in skills gaps before you launch your job search.

Indeed is the Online Job Site Leader

Indeed totally dominates when we examine the percentage of hires via an online job board.

Indeed – 66%

LinkedIn – 21%

Glassdoor – 6%

CareerBuilder – 6%

HigherEd Jobs – 2%

Recap of How to Land a Job

1. Build relationships with recruiters. Recruiters are valuable people to know and it is a good career development skill to shape your career in such a way to attract the attention of recruiters. Recruiter Jess Smith shares some tips about how to do this:

“Recruiters look for candidates who can articulate as much measurable success as possible. Did you exceed your goals? Did you decrease costs? Did you blow out your quota? Any way that you can show measurable success (bonus points if you can include some numbers!) will let recruiters know that you’ve found success in previous roles and you’ll be able to find success in their role as well. To demonstrate this success, make sure that you’re using keywords anywhere that you can on your resume and in places recruiters source candidates, like LinkedIn. This is how recruiters will be able to find you in their searches.”

2. Connect with more people. Two ways to increase the chances of an employee referral are to build relationships with people in your career field or even just people in general through shared interests of any kind. As preparation for this approach, spend some time fine-tuning your pitch about what skills you offer and what type of work you are seeking because that makes it possible for people to refer you and to help you.

If you aren’t sure what you want to do, figure this out before you launch a job search because most hiring managers and recruiters will not have time to connect the dots for you. It is helpful to practice what you will say in advance before someone asks, “What type of job are you hoping to land?”

If you aren’t naturally good at connecting with people, even a few hours of training and role-playing might be sufficient to improve your abilities by a significant enough percentage to make a positive difference in your job search outcome. Private career coaches help with this but in addition, most cities have affordable nonprofit or government-sponsored job search coaching that includes this component in the training.

3. Learn about keywords. If you are going to job search using an online job board, the best bet is Indeed but because of the level of competition there, you must be skilled at both keyword searches and also building your resume to include the keywords that match a specific job posting. If you find that you don’t have the right keywords because there are gaps between what employers want and what you offer, invest some time shoring up your skills and experiences before waging an extensive job search that might burn out your leads before you are well-prepared.

If you aren’t finding good job options or you aren’t landing any interviews, consider getting advice from a savvy friend who knows both the profession you are targeting and your skills or a career coach with expertise in helping people with their job search.

Conclusion About How to Land a Job

Learning how to land a job is a skill that can be learned and improved through practice. Use this data to make decisions about where to invest your time and energy.

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