During my recently-concluded job search, I became obsessed with tracking my activities. It was a way to make sure I was keeping up the pace, and it formed a sort of “scorecard.”
And I can happily report that I did better than the poor soul cited in this recent article in The New York Times:
“[An executive]...jumped actively into his job search but said that he had gotten fewer than 10 interviews in two years, despite averaging nearly 40 hours a week looking for work.”
During a ten month period I recorded 713 discrete actions. These included applying to 358 online job postings, and mailing 137 DM letters to targeted employers (the online job postings were either through services like Ladders and Monster, through aggregators like Simply Hired and Indeed, or posted directly on companies’ own sites. The DM letters followed the model in John Lucht’s Rites of Passage). Here are the results:
358 submissions to online job postings resulted in 46 responses (13%). Of those responses, 36 were “No” and 10 were interviews.
137 DM letters resulted in 4 responses. Of those responses, 3 were “No” and 1 was an interview.
* More than 86% of my online submissions generated no results (that is, no response beyond a computer-generated acknowledgement when I submitted).
* More than 96% of my DM letters generated no response.
* On average, I generated one interview for every 36 online job submissions.
* I contacted 33 recruiters, and “refreshed” those relationships by phone or email every 60 days. I believe I was presented to 6 companies by recruiters. I interviewed with 1 company through a recruiter.
* I made 284 networking contacts, either by email or by telephone.
The total results of all my efforts (DM, online submissions, networking, recruiters) were interviews at 21 companies. 8 of those interviews resulted in second interviews, and three of those went on to third or more interviews. I received one offer.
I share these numbers because they’re REAL. They’re mine: for me, searching for my job at my level, in my geographic area and my industry, during 2008. Your mileage may vary. But you might find it valuable to see some real numbers instead of generalities about job searching or vague reports in the Jobs section of your Sunday newspaper.