An Awful Number For Job-Seekers

A friend sent an email yesterday that had a screenshot of an MSNBC headlines that says there are 6.4 people who are unemployed for every position that is open. That is a scary number when you consider that it does not include the number of people who are unhappily working and looking and those like USC (former UT) football coach Lane Kiffin who are always willing to move at the drop of a dime.

So what does that number mean for your job search?

  • There are a lot of people looking for work – YOU HAVE TO STEP YOUR GAME UP!!!!
  • If you listen to anyone who knows anything about looking for a job they all say NETWORKING is the way to go.

    The number above should be a wake up call for you if you are NOT networking. GET OFF of the computer and the couch AND GET on the phone. It is all about who you know and not what you know and going to a Chamber meeting does NOT cut it in this economy.

    ‘I am an introvert’ is not an excuse. Nor is, ‘I don’t like calling people’, ‘I don’t know that many people’, and ‘I don’t know what to do’. There are too many resources out there (including our step-by-step guide) and too many ways you can go about making contacts.

    You have to be networking or you should probably not expect to find a job anytime soon unless you are VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY good in a VERY, VERY, VERY specific area at or are VERY lucky.
  • If you are not putting in the time to find a new job YOU WILL NOT FIND ONE.
  • If you cannot articulate to people why they should hire you they will NOT do so. There are at least 6.4 people behind you who will they can try if you fail.
  • Recruiters, employers, etc are utilizing new ways to find candidates (LinkedIn, searching Google, professional associations, et) – if you are not searchable you will NOT be found.
  • If you are applying to jobs that you are NOT qualified for you are wasting the employers time and yours and it might keep you from getting a real look for opportunities you are a fit for.

Hate to be the party killer but everyone needs a kick in the pants from time to time. Until next time, good hunting and good luck!



16 responses to “An Awful Number For Job-Seekers

  1. Excellent post Matt! There are no excuses – folks need to develop their networking muscle by learning some skills that lead to effective networking. Here are some myths about networking debunked:

    Myth #1: Networking means you’re looking to use people to achieve selfish goals, or opportunistically ask people for help.

    REALITY: The definition of the word network according to The Oxford Dictionary:

    nétwerk n. & v. a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes.

    Networking can therefore be defined as one’s efforts to create this group, and of course it can be done honestly and considerately.

    Myth #2: You have to be a born networker or a natural at it.

    REALITY: The skills needed to be an effective networker can be learned by anyone. Get comfortable asking folks you meet, “So, what are you working on these days?” or, “What do you need help with right now?” Then, just read my new book titled, “I’m at a Networking Event—Now What???”(on Amazon) for more ways to further develop your networking muscle.

    Myth #3: You must have above average charisma to be a good networker.

    REALITY: You merely need to be thoughtful, sincere and genuinely helpful. You get offered a job or opportunities from people who are trusting of you. There IS a hidden job market out there, but you have to be willing to be open and giving to be part of it.

    Myth #4: You have to be a good talker or an overly chatty “schmoozer” to be a good networker.

    REALITY: The truth is it is almost the exact opposite. According to Guy Kawasaki, Forbes columnist, and author of the recently published, Reality Check, “The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot. The mark is that you can get others to talk a lot. Thus, good schmoozerʼs are good listeners, not good talkers.”

    Hope these help motivate some of your readers to embrace networking because it really does matter!

    Sandy Jones-Kaminski
    Author, Networking Strategist & Business Developer

  2. Michael McLendon

    It is not looking good. So much for the hope and change.

  3. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  4. Pingback: Intrapreneurship « Former Scientist

  5. Great post! I am a recent grad experiencing this exact situation. Thankfully I have developed a strong and supportive network of people that have helped me quickly create my online presence and I have met many more people along the way. I have found the best ways to network are to reach out to your contacts at least once a week, even if it is just to say hello or thank you. It is also imperative to attend events where people in your desired career industry will be. Getting your face recognized and speaking in-person with those people will get you far. Also, keep at it no matter what. I have been unemployed for a month now and have not lost hope. I know that in time my contacts, diligence, skills, and online presence will get recognized and I will secure a job.

  6. Even networking does not help. Just not much out there

    • I would disagree! There are lots of opps out there if you market yourself right and put yourself in a position to talk to the right people.

      • Matt, I know you’re a True Believer. You honestly believe that with real unemployment over 17%, nearly 1 in 5 workers unemployed or flipping burgers to try to get by, and jobs continuing to disappear while the population grows, that all you need to do is step up your networking and polish your resume and you’re good to go.

        Stepping up your networking and polishing your resume are just ways to give people hope. Hope that they are in charge of their situation. They aren’t.

        I keep hearing the tired statistic that 80% of jobs are found through networking. I’d like to see the definitive source for that statistic, and the assumptions underlying it. Does it include internal promotions and transfers never open to the public? What kind of “job” is it? Finding a days work cleaning someone’s garage? Yes, that’s facetious. But I suspect that it’s no where near 80%. If it were true, then companies would have stopped posting jobs entirely long ago, since when you consider many are filled through recruiters postings must have a less than 10% success rate.

        Businesses aren’t dumb. Using networking to find employees does not get you the best recruit. It only gets you the recruit that knows someone who will speak well of them. Some of my worst hires have been from internal references. Postings and recruiters get you a much larger field to cull from.

        People need to stop chasing after jobs that don’t exist. They need to start holding government and business accountable for job creation. If this were the ’60s there would be riots and buildings burning by now. Instead, we just talk and talk. We network.

      • Good comment and agreed – we need to start asking where the jobs are that have been ‘created’

  7. Oh how I hate this blame-the-victim mentality–it’s YOUR fault you aren’t finding a job. There are so many people unemployed that even master networkers aren’t getting jobs. I’m one of them and I’m sick of it. So are the hundreds of former executives I network with that have been out of work more than a year.

    Unfortunately, we have a clueless government. Obama says we’ll focus on creating green energy jobs. Uh, why don’t we remove that “green energy” constraint and just focus on JOBS. These guys are going to put Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in the White House in 2012. And life as we know it in America will end altogether.

    We also have a senior executive class that has given up on the United States in favor of their own personal wealth. Microsoft lays off 5,500 people while profitable and sitting on $34B cash. J&J lays off 8,200 while profitable and sitting on $17B cash. While its CEO says growth won’t return until employment improves. Guess he suspects someone unprofitable and with no cash to do the hiring. Hutchinson tech lays off hundreds while saying it is opening a plant offshore.

    So in short, there is no reason to expect things to improve. The gov’t doesn’t know what to do. Business executives don’t care.

    So stop blaming the victims. Networking full time has as little chance as networking casually and going ballistic with resumes. It’s a numbers and luck of the draw game. It is NOT highly qualified peoples fault they aren’t finding work. It’s an economy devastated by an idiotic government, now trying to be saved by a new government that has no better ideas.

  8. Lots of the comments here are people getting aware of what was strongly ignored during the campaign.
    Obama had no balanced economists on his team.
    Obama had no firm answers and when asked what the number one issue was he never said JOBS. He never said the ECONOMY.
    He was out of touch with it then and continues to be out of touch today. A headline of 6.4 means there are another 7 to 10 people who are under or unemployed who have stopped looking all together for a job.
    When summer job interns stay in the workforce and take 10 to 20 hours at reduced wages it blocks re-entry. The government had no plan for that.
    Since MSNBC has been a propaganda arm for Obama it is nice to know they may be really getting the message that the middle class has been preaching for more than 20 years– IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID, LOWER THE TAXES, GET THE JOBS BACK IN THE PLACE AND QUIT OUTSOURCING AND MAKING DEALS TO GET STIMULUS DOLLARS THAT DO NOT BENEFIT ANYONE.

  9. Jim, no amount of networking or resume blasting will be able to overcome that negative attitude. Employers will be able to read it on your face the moment you enter the interview room. I know it’s easy to be discouraged, but blaming everyone else isn’t going to get you anywhere either. There are a lot of problems with the economy, but having a negative attitude is not going to fix them.

  10. In my 10+ years if HR experience I have noticed that the people who maintain a positive attitude, develop an achievement oriented resume, hone behavioral interviewing skills, network with a focus on giving, volunteering, helping others with contacts etc…are the ones who “magically” find another job. Only, its not magic it just seems that way to people who are not consistently doing these things. Of course, there are fewer jobs available right now which is exactly why you have to step up your game.

  11. I am not convinced in either direction. I do agree there is a horrid economic mess, and I do not see a cogent plan to recover. Handing a trillion bucks to the banks was, and would if continued, a really bad idea. Now perhaps it would have been right to let the banks just falter and die. Or, maybe not. We cannot know as Bush and Obama chose to bail them out. Now, they award themselves bonuses.

    I think I have stepped up about as much as I know how. It is difficult and harshly competitive out there on the trail. No answers, just more questions. I think it is time for us to get entrepreneurial in our mentality, not more focused. I am about as focused as I can get, I guess I could focus harder, but the eye strain would eventually get me. Not to mention the mental anguish of sorting through another list of 40 job listings that are all the same ones I have been reviewing for 10 months. My friends are now those other folks that are also unemployed.

    It ain’t attitude anymore, it is just tired and sick of being so tired. That is why I am making the shift to an entrepreneurial effort. I think, but maybe I am wrong, the way now is to delve into the eCommerce arena. Seems a lot of folks are doing well there. We shall see — how could it be worse?

  12. Frankly, the C-Suites can only behave such that they are rewarded by institutional investors, day traders, and individual stock owners. Theoretically, class action suits with merit can make the case that C’s are behaving in a way which is detrimental to the stock price or corp bonds. The real question is why social media tools have not been adapted/adopted by the market often enough to convince legal firms to step for their cut of a successful suit. The American public doesn’t seem to have any problem using these tools in their personal lives, distance education or politics — when will they take their place as a meaningful corrective of excess?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s